As the days lengthen, hens start laying more eggs. This classic french clafoutis recipe is one of my favorite ways to use them. Utilizing frozen gorge-grown cherries from last summer and in-season California citrus, it’s a great way to get a taste of that bright fruity goodness we all crave when spring begins (even though the berries and fruit are still a few months from ripening around here).
As you all know, I also love recipes that are so easy that you can’t hardly screw them up. Clafoutis has such a creamy, pillowy texture that it tastes like the sort of thing that takes a lot of effort — but doesn’t! A cast iron skillet and a blender are all you need to get this treat on the table.
As a breakfast or dessert option, I like that it is just sweet enough without being overwhelmingly sugary or bready. Using quality local cherries harvested at peak ripeness will also reduce the amount of sugar you need. This can easily be made gluten-free by subbing in your preferred gluten-free flour mix.
- 3 cups frozen dark cherries (you can use fresh when they are in season!)
- 1 tbsp room-temperature butter
- 3 pasture-raised eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup all-purpose or pastry flour (or gluten-free mix)
- 2 tbsp orange juice (fresh squeezed is best!)
- 2 tsp fresh orange zest
- 1 tsp almond extract (if you are using cherries that still have pits, this is optional — if using pitted cherries, I recommend not skipping this ingredient)
- 1/4-1/2 tsp kosher salt (depending on flake size)
- Creme fraiche, whipped cream, or yogurt (optional)
- Powdered sugar (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375F.
- If using frozen cherries, allow the cherries to half-thaw for about 15-20 minutes on a towel, so that they are still firm but not entirely wet on the outside. Fresh cherries can be used as-is.
- Coat the inside of your cast iron skillet with the butter. It should be a nice thick coating over the entire surface to prevent sticking. Once ready, arrange the cherries in the pan.
- Combine the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, flour, orange juice, orange zest, almond extract, and salt in a blender. Blend briefly on high until the ingredients are well-combined. It should be a very runny batter.
- Pour this batter slowly and carefully over the cherries in the cast iron pan.
- Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350, and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, until the edges begin to brown and pull away from the pan and the center is set.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes, and serve warm directly from the pan. Dust with powdered sugar if desired, and enjoy with a side of creme fraiche, whipped cream, or (my personal favorite) tangy european-style yogurt.
Recipe adapted from Midwest Living