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Cherry Flan

Updated August 03, 2017
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: If you can't get to the French countryside, then bring some of the French countryside to you when you whip up this Cherry Flan for dessert! This easy dessert recipe will be an elegant show-stopper for just about any meal that you have planned this summer. Although fresh cherries are ideal, you can use frozen or canned cherries, too; simply see the Notes section below for additional tips by Julia Child. If you'd like, you can serve each portion with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. This dessert recipe is decadence at its finest!

The clafouti (also spelled with a final “s” in both singular and plural), which is traditional in the Limousin during the cherry season, is peasant cooking for family meals, and about as simple a dessert to make as you can imagine: a pancake batter poured over fruit in a fireproof dish, then baked in the oven. It looks like a tart, and is usually eaten warm.

Serves6 to 8 people

Cooking MethodBaking

CostInexpensive

Easy

Kid FriendlyYes

Occasional Fresco, Birthday, Buffet, Buffet Meal, Casual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party, Cooking for a date, Family Get Together

Recipe CourseDessert

MealBrunch, Dinner

Taste and TextureFruity, Light, Sweet

Type of DishCake, Dessert

Ingredients

  • 3 cups pitted black cherries (see Notes below)
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup flour (scooped and leveled; see Notes below)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Powdered sugar in a shaker
  •  
  • Equipment
  • An electric blender (if you have no electric blender, work the eggs into the flour with a wooden spoon, gradually beat in the liquids, then strain the batter through a fine sieve)
  • 7- to 8-cup lightly buttered, fireproof baking dish or Pyrex pie plate about 1½ inches deep

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Place the milk, 1/3 cup sugar, the eggs, vanilla, salt, and flour in your blender jar in the order in which they are listed. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute.

  3. Pour a ¼-inch layer of batter in the baking dish or pie plate. Set over moderate heat for a minute or two until a film of batter has set in the bottom of the dish. Remove from heat. Spread the cherries over the batter and sprinkle on 1/3 cup sugar. Pour on the rest of the batter and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.

  4. Place in middle position of preheated oven and bake for about an hour. The clafouti is done when it has puffed and browned, and a needle or knife plunged into its center comes out clean. Sprinkle top of clafouti with powdered sugar just before bringing it to the table. (The clafouti need not be served hot, but should still be warm. It will sink down slightly as it cools.)

Notes

Use fresh, black, sweet cherries in season. Otherwise use drained, canned, pitted Bing cherries, or frozen sweet cherries, thawed and drained.

Scoop the dry-measure cup directly into your flour container and fill the cup to overflowing; do not shake the cup or pack down the flour. Sweep off excess so that flour is even with the lip of the cup, using a straight edge of some sort. Sift only after measuring.

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A very simple, delicious recipe. I added a bit of almond extract as well as vanilla, and it came out great. Not overly sweet-I could see serving this as part of brunch just as easily as for dessert.

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