Every time I see cherries in the market, I think back to what I’d read in Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day. In the book, she mentions that cherries don’t really have a season… they really just have a moment. Back home, you see them at fruit stalls in Mumbai for the briefest time, and if you’re in a rush and think of buying them some other day, chances are, they’ll be gone. Buying cherries at exorbitant prices in Mumbai always takes me back to the summer I spent in Kashmir, where cherries, walnuts and pine nuts were so abundant that I’d eat them all day, rarely feeling the need to eat a cooked meal, much to my Mom’s concern. Life as 9-yer-old sure has its benefits, no? These days, I’m more civilized and choose to make Cherry Pie or Clafoutis instead!
Clafoutis is a simple, traditional French dessert of cherries baked in a sort of custard. After about 40 minutes of baking, the custard bakes up to form a crispier edge and softer centre. I’m tempted to add this to the list of ‘there are two kinds of people’ – those who nibble away at the edges or prefer the gooey centre. I’m Team Crispy, always!
The only point where I strayed from tradition while making clafoutis, was the pitting of the cherries. Last year, I managed to get a cherry-pitter which made it possible for me to bake this Cherry Pie and I put it to good use getting rid of the pits for the clafoutis too. Traditionally, the pits are left as is because they enhance the flavours, but can you imagine watching guests at the dinner table pulling out the pits from their mouth and lining them up in their plates? So, out go the cherry pits. Other than that, this is perhaps one of the easiest desserts to make, purely because the prep time is so little. You can swap the cherries with any fruit of your choice – sliced apples, pears, plums, mixed berries…!
When it is done baking, the clafoutis will be slightly puffed like a soufflé, and like a soufflé it will deflate a bit once out of the oven. I devoured it warm, with a dusting of icing sugar, but next time, I’m going to pair it with vanilla bean ice cream. Would you like me to share a recipe for vanilla bean ice cream?
Here are some other recipes that I think you will like-