Clafoutis is so beloved by our guests that it frequently features on our menus at Le Manoir and also in Brasserie Blanc. A clafoutis is a baked dessert featuring a thick batter over fruit. Traditionally, the fruit should be black cherries, but other stone fruits, such as peaches, plums, apricots or figs, work well too.
For the cherries
best-quality ripe cherries (such as Montmorency or Morello), stoned
kirsch, to taste (optional)
For preparing the dish
unsalted butter, melted
caster sugar, plus extra to finish (optional)
For the batter
organic/free-range medium eggs
vanilla extract or vanilla syrup
To prepare the cherries:
Gently mix the cherries, sugar and kirsch, if using, in a bowl. Cover and leave to macerate for 2 hours. While macerating, the sugar slowly permeates the fruit and intensifies the taste. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
To prepare the dish:
Brush the inside with the melted butter. Add the sugar and tilt the dish to coat the sides and base evenly; shake out the excess.
To make the clafoutis:
The clafoutis mixture can be prepared a day in advance. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla together until creamy. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan and cook to a beurre noisette - the foaming butter will turn a hazelnut colour at 150–155°C. This butter will lend a wonderful roundness and nutty flavour to the clafoutis. Add the flour to the egg and sugar mixture and whisk until smooth, then slowly incorporate the milk, cream, salt and beurre noisette. Stir in the cherries with their juice and then pour into the prepared baking dish.
To cook the clafoutis:
Bake for 30–35 minutes until the clafoutis is lightly risen and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. The centre is always the last part to cook, so you must test it. Note that a dip in the middle suggests the clafoutis is undercooked.
Leave to stand for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with caster sugar if using and serve just warm.
THIS RECIPE IS ADAPTED FROM THE BOOK KITCHEN SECRETS
Raymond’s love of delicious food is lifelong. Years of experience have given him a rich store of knowledge and the skill to create fantastic dishes that work time after time. With a range of achievable and inspirational recipes for cooks of all abilities - and useful tips throughout - this book brings Gallic passion and precision into the home kitchen.