Sunday, August 30, 2009

Clafoutis avec Mémé

When my parents flew back to the US for the summer, they stopped off in Paris to visit my French grandmother Suzanne. We call her Mémé and she is known- above all else- for her cooking. She is the only woman who could get my 12 year old self to eat fish. How? By whipping up one of those famously French, sinfully delicious white butter-laden sauces .

But I'm here to talk about her clafoutis which is a sort of cake made with black cherries. If you haven't already tried one, you should. As I've mentioned before, I don't really even like cherries, but this takes the cake. (ha!)

It's not even that difficult to make- Mémé doesn't even have a set recipe. So if cherries are still in season near you, I'd suggest giving this a try before it's too late.

My mom had the ingenious idea of taking pictures of the process while she was visiting and so whitout her permission, I have posted them here for our mutual enjoyment. See how much I care?

Et voila ma Mémé Suzanne:

Step one- Butter a baking dish. All good French recipe require butter. fact of life.

Now here we have some pitted cherries. Some say that you MUST keep the pits in as they infuse the cake with their nutty almost almond like flavour- but others are more practical. My Mémé falls into the later category.

Mixing up the batter. Do I spot some yogurt or creme fraiche on the lip of the bowl?

Adding the obligatory milk.

And a bit of flour tooNext are the cherries. And try not to lose any, ok?

Mix it all up
And pour into your buttered pan

Into the oven for 34-40 minutes.

Et voila! Un delicieux clafoutis aux cerises!

From the Larousse Gastronomique
A desert from the Limousin region of France , clafoutis consists of black cherries arranged in a buttered dish, covered with fairly thick batter and baked. It is served lukewarm, dusted with sugar. As a rule, the cherries are not stoned (pitted) but simply washed and stalked (stemmed), since the kernel add their flavor to the batter during cooking.

  • 500g black cherries
  • 100g caster sugar, seperated
  • butter for greasing
  • 125g flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 300ml milk
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Remove the stalks from 500g (18 oz) washed black cherries, dust them with 50g (2oz) caster sugar and leave for at least 30 minutes. Butter a baking tin and fill it with cherries. Put 125g (4 1/2 oz) plain flour in a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt, 50g (2oz) caster sugar and 3 well-beaten eggs; mix well; then add 300ml (1/2 pint) milk and mix thoroughly again. Pour the mixture over the cherries and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C (350 degrees F) for 35-40 minutes. When it is lukewarm dust with icing sugar.


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