Everyone in my family cooks and we all specialize in something. My dad specializes in soups. He makes a soup every single week. He also makes a lot of other things like vegetable preserves for the winter, fancy salads and barbecues, but his specialty is definitely soups. My brother specializes in omelets, I think. And he makes very nice bruschetta as well. I specialize in vegetarian food, obviously, and my mom specializes in amazing sophisticated desserts, like this amazingly airy clafoutis I am going to share with you today on the condition that you will follow the instructions religiously if you try it.
You can’t joke with family recipes. I always change around recipes and joke that I am unable to follow any recipe. Well, that’s not the case with inherited family recipes. Beside the fact that the recipe just won’t work as well (or at all!) if you change it around, as it has reached it present form through many many years of experimentation, the recipe has emotional value as well. In fact, I don’t value inherited material goods, like jewellery for example, as I value passed down family recipes. So please handle this recipe appropriately as it is very important to me. My mother makes this every summer and the scent it emanates when it is in the baking stage instantly transports me to the summers of my childhood, those long long summers that seemed to never end, filled with sunshine and infinite joy when playing with my friends (both people and animals). This clafoutis is usually finished in one day. I don’t ever remember taking it out from the fridge. It was first in the oven, then on the counter top, then it was gone. I’m pretty sure this will happen in your house too if you try it, so take the necessary precautions, don’t stay away from it for too long. You might fantasize about having a piece or two later with your tea, then you’ll notice it’s all gone. That is all very normal as this clafoutis is known to disappear when you least expect it.
This clafoutis is not quite a traditional French clafoutis. I think the French recipe is more dense. However, I prefer this one because of its lightness. It’s perfect for hot summer days when I want a baked fruity treat which is not too heavy.
- 8 Tbsp organic white flour
- 8 eggs
- 8 Tbsp organic sugar
- 7 Tbsp grape seed oil
- 2 cups black/red cherries, pitted and halved
- 2 Tbsp sliced almonds
- 1 Tbsp powdered sugar for dusting
- Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Place the egg whites in one larger bowl and the yolks in a smaller one.
- With a hand mixer, beat the egg whites, adding one Tbsp of sugar at a time until all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is forming hard peaks.
- In the other bowl, beat the egg yolks with the oil until they are well blended.
- Add the egg yolk mixture to the egg white & sugar bowl one tablespoon at a time, stirring upwards from the bottom to the top VERY GENTLY until the yolk mixture is incorporated.
- Add the flour slowly, 2 Tbsp at a time. I use a sieve to spread the 2 Tbsp of flour on top of the egg, sugar & oil mixture, then stir the same way, upwards, again VERY GENTLY!
- Spread the mixture in a previously oiled and flour-lined non stick large baking tray. The one I use is 44cm x 29cm (17.25in x 11.25in).
- Add the cherry halves and the sliced almonds on top.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 300˚F/150˚C for 30 minutes, without opening the oven.
- Take out, cool and dust with the powdered sugar using a sieve.
- Cut and serve with tea.
You can use different fruits for this dessert. My favourite are cherries, sour cherries and apricots. I love the addition of almonds to this recipe. It gives it an extra crunch.
Of course, the ritual of serving this clafoutis is not complete without tea. I prefer to accompany it with black tea with a hint of cardamom. I don’t think coffee is a good choice to serve with this dessert because coffee drowns the subtle and fruity flavours of the clafoutis. A mild green tea or oolong tea are also great choices to have along with this dessert.
Enjoy our family jewel