Cherry Clafoutis

20 Jul

Cherry, cherry, cherry.....hmmmmmm Clafoutis!

This is probably one of my most favorite desserts to make.  I love how custardy this dish is not to forget to mention it is great to eat for breakfast.  Right now in the city we have cherries coming in from Michigan and they are lovely.  One of our friends is a farmer and I scored some from him the other week.  His cherries were my inspiration for making this dessert.

Normally, I make cherry clafloutis in my pyrex pie mold, but this time I had another trick up my sleeve.  I was going to make this custard in a tart form using a short dough crust.  By the way, if you do not have cherries in the house you can use many other fruit and berry options such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, apples, pears, apricots, peaches, plums, etc.  The other bonus kick to this custard is the alcoholic beverage you pour into it and tablespoon or more.  Normally I add in Kirsch, but rum (light or dark), brandy, or calvados are great substitutions too.

Oh, the other small tidbit I have to share is that I do not pit my cherries.  I am a sort of a purist here.  The pits I feel add some extra flavor to the clafoutis; just be sure to tell your guests that pits are in the cherries still.  If you have leftover custard filling you can use it to make crepes.  Yes, the base of this custard actually is a crepe batter.  Those French are so sneaky and are responsible for making the most delicious items.

Short Dough

Makes about 1.5 pounds of dough (good for 2- 8-inch tart shells)

8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of salt
1 egg
12 ounces cake flour, sifted

Method

  1. In a bowl of a standing mixed combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt.  Paddle on medium speed for 4 minutes.
  2. Using a rubber spatula remove the creamed butter and sugar off the wall of the bowl, then add the egg.  Paddle for 30 seconds then scrape the sides of the bowl down again.
  3. Turn the mixer on low speed and begin to add the flour.  Do not over mix or your dough will be tough.  As soon as the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl stop mixing. Remove the dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic.  Place the short dough in the cooler overnight.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. When you are ready to use the dough to make the tart shells, pin out the dough to fit the tart mold.  Be sure to have extra flour for dusting.  This dough tends to stick to the pin and to the countertop.  The dough warms easily.
  6. Place the dough in the tart pan.  Be sure to press down all of the sides.  If there are any cracks or tears fill them in with extra dough.  The short dough adheres to itself quite nicely, since it is just a plain cookie dough.
  7. Once the tarts have the short dough in them, place them in the cooler for 15 minutes.
  8. Cut out parchment shapes that fit the molds so you can place ceramic pie weights or beans in them to allow you to blind bake the shells.
  9. Take the shells out of the cooler, place the parchment in them and then the beans or pie weights.  Bake the shells for 15 minutes or until dry to the touch.
  10. Once baked allow to cool fully.
Claflouis Custard
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon rum or Kirsch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 cup – 1 1/2 cup cherries, stems removed (you can substitute blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc)
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl combine the eggs and sugar.  Using a hand whisk or hand mixer, beat eggs and sugar for 3 minutes until the eggs are pale yellow.
  3. Add the milk and the rum to the egg mixture.  Blend until well combined.
  4. Lastly whisk in the salt and the flour.  Make sure there are no lumps in the batter.
  5. Take the beans or pie weights out of the baked tart shells.
  6. Place the cherries in the tart shells.  I like to add a lot.
  7. Once all the cherries are in the tart shells; pour the batter in the shells.  Do not over fill them.
  8. Place the tarts in the oven for 25-30 minutes, depending on the tart size.  You can also check to see if they are done by inserting a toothpick in the custard.  The toothpick should come out cleanly.
  9. Once baked, allow the clafoutis tarts to cool.  Unless you can not resist their aroma!
  10. Slice and enjoy for a lovely dessert, tea snack, or even breakfast.
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