Sweet cherries just turned up at our farmer’s market (still waiting on sour!), as did currants. So right now we’re working our way through pint after pint of fruit. Our daughter has been lobbying for currant buns (because it’s what Mother Rabbit goes to buy in Peter Rabbit), but I think those are a little better right as summer turns into fall (probably because of the Kink’s line “Tea and toasted, buttered currant buns help to compensate for lack of sun.” For now, we’re going with our new favorite summer dessert- clafoutis.
Clafoutis is a dessert that makes it worth turning on the oven on a hot day. It’s is a rustic French cake which makes you feel simultaneously down-home and fancy. Texture wise, it falls somewhere between a cake and a pudding. It’s fantastic with cream after it’s cooled just a bit, but it also makes a good breakfast the morning after served with a couple of fried eggs on the side. The fruit is the star of this dish, so use it liberally. Cherries are traditional, but you can use whatever summer fruits you have–currants, peaches, blueberries, plums.
Clafoutis also has two distinct advantages over other summer desserts. 1. You just combine the ingredients and bake–one bowl! 2. It is extremely forgiving of borderline fruit, so if you’ve neglected your summer bounty it will shine in this cake. Also note that almond flavor is traditional in clafoutis, but I’m allergic. So there.
Currant Cherry Clafoutis (adapted from Garrett McCord’s recipe on Simply Recipes)
1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted
1/2 cup currants
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Liberally butter and flour a baking dish, roughly 10 X 7”.
Whisk the eggs together in a medium bowl. Add the sugar, flour, salt, and zest, and stir just until combined. Fold in the milk (batter will be quite watery). Add the Grand Marnier and vanilla.
Pour the fruit into the prepared baking dish. Fold in the batter.
Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, until the cake is golden along the edges and starts to pull away from the side, and the center has just the slightest jiggle.