The French lay claim to the name of this dessert, just as Oregon and its "Original Pancake House" claim the Dutch Baby Pancake known elsewhere as a German Pancake and even the British get in on the party with their savory rather than sweet Yorkshire Pudding.
Sounds like a regular United Nations doesn't it but I guess you can say they're all kind of alike, united by the same basic ingredients - eggs, milk and flour. Add sugar and a little booze along with dark sweet cherries and you've a dessert that'll make your tastebuds sing. The best part about it is that you can make one out of almost any kind of fruit or berry but then it'll be called a flaugnarde because "Clafouti" is reserved for cherries only. Don't ask why because I have absolutely no idea.
Last night's version included bourbon rather than the more traditional kirsch and I threw in an overflowing teaspoon of homemade vanilla too just because I like the flavor. Incidentally, I used pitted cherries direct from my freezer, without thawing them first and it took longer for the oven to preheat than it did to throw the dessert together - perfect when you're craving something sweet but not overly sweet.
Big Guy loved it even though he couldn't wrap his mouth around the name. He didn't know whether to call it a cake or a pie so he took care of that by doubling up his serving so he wouldn't have to go back to get a second piece. For a guy that is lukewarm on desserts, he can never resist the word "pie".
Cherry Clafouti from JBug’s Kitchen Antics adapted from Oregonian Cookbook
1-1/2 teaspoons softened butter
1 pound dark sweet cherries, pitted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup bourbon
1 teaspoon good vanilla
1-1/2 tablespoons hard butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 400. Using softened butter, grease bottom and sides of large gratin dish. Spread cherries in a single layer on the bottom of the dish. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and salt. Gradually sift in flour whisking constantly until mixture is smooth. Whisk in milk, bourbon and vanilla. Pour over cherries in gratin dish. Grate or shave butter over top and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. (Note – if using frozen cherries, increase cooking time by approximately 10 minutes). Cool for 20 minutes then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm. Makes 8 servings unless you’re anywhere near JBug’s Kitchen.
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