Cherries are the traditional fruit for this delicate French dessert, but any seasonal fruit will do. Use fresh pitted sweet cherries or I.Q.F. (individually quick frozen) cherries. The puffed, golden-brown custard that forms the tart’s base is almond-scented and lightly sweet. The cherries punctuate each bite with their bright flavor. The preparation is simple enough to make while your dinner is cooking. Put it in the oven as you sit to eat, and in an hour, you’ll have an elegant dessert that is best served still warm from the oven.
Printable pdf of this recipe here.
Makes one 9-inch tart
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 cups sweet cherries, pitted (Bing, Rainier or thawed I.Q.F.)
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract, divided
1 tsp almond extract, divided
1½ cups whole milk
¼ tsp salt
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp almonds, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp amaretto
Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the base and sides of a 9-inch baking dish with the melted butter.
In a medium bowl, add the cherries, ¼ cup sugar, 1 Tbsp vanilla and ½ tsp almond extract. Marinate for 30 minutes.
In a blender or the bowl of a food processor, place ½ cup sugar, the remaining 1 Tbsp vanilla and ½ tsp almond extract, milk, eggs, salt and flour. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes to combine well.
Preheat the buttered baking dish for 5 minutes in the oven. Pour a quarter of the custard into the dish and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Then add the marinated cherries, scattering them evenly over the base. Top with the remaining custard. Sprinkle the chopped almonds around the perimeter.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the custard puffs and is golden brown. The custard should be firm to the touch.
Let cool for 15 minutes. Top with powdered sugar.
In a separate bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), use a whisk to whip the heavy cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar and amaretto to soft peaks.
This clafoutis is best enjoyed while still warm from the oven, preferably in the garden after an early summer dinner. Enjoy!