The name alone has always been intriguing… something I can recall easily, that conjures up holidays spent lazily in some Parisian cafe (not that I do that much at all)… Clafoutis or clafouti — it could be a kind of bacteria for all I knew, except that it is such a simple and stunning looking dessert, superb when done right, and with intensely flavorful fresh black cherries. I can tell you sweet juicy golden Rainiers don’t seem to work well in a clafouti, but it was worth a try… :)
A hot custardy, eggy mixture similar to a thick crepe, studded with cherries is the classic incarnation… though adding raspberries, blackberries or even peaches and I suppose even mangoes would work. This is typically served for breakfast but for some reason eventually went on as a favorite dessert at Parisian cafes or restaurants, often serving the tourist market.
To make, use any of the simple recipes on the net, I used this one from joyofbaking.com, with just a few minor alterations to reflect the ingredients I had on hand, and while it turned out reasonably well, the dessert wasn’t a stunner… We undercooked this just a bit, but it tasted okay. I left the pits in the cherries, as they do traditionally in France, to enhance the flavor of the clafoutis, and as an added arte move left the stems on as well, hoping to replicate one of the snazzy photos I once saw of a clafoutis where the stems were all jutting out of the dessert — well I can tell you they fall on their side and sink into the batter — unless you put the cherries in when the batter has set a bit. Sprinkle your clafoutis with powdered sugar just before serving. Take care not to pop an entire cherry into your mouth and bite into an exploding “grenade” of molten sweet liquid… :)