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RECIPE: Cherry-Almond Clafoutis
It’s tough to beat the incredible taste of fresh cherries in season, so it’s no surprise they are the customary choice for this classic French dessert. Traditionally, the pits were left in the cherries so they could infuse the dish with a light almond-like flavor while it bakes. However, contemporary versions mostly feature pitted fresh cherries, instead. This version uses almond extract and slivered almonds to achieve a similar flavor profile to the original version.
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If necessary, frozen cherries can be used when fresh are not available (or if you don’t want to take the time to pit the cherries yourself). Just be sure to thaw and drain the frozen cherries before using.
Tip: Reserve the liquid from the frozen cherries for another use. The juice is delicious when combined with sparkling water or added to fruit smoothies.
For best results, macerate the frozen cherries in a little sugar and some almond-flavored liqueur (or a little of the juice from thawing) for up to 2 hours. This will greatly enhance the flavor.
Dark Cherry-Almond Clafoutis
Prep time: 10 minutes (+ time to macerate cherries, if applicable)
Cook time: 40-45 minutes
1 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. fresh pitted cherries
(OR 1 12-oz. bag frozen cherries, thawed and drained)
Optional: 1-2 T. almond-flavored liqueur, such as amaretto
½ c + 1 T. white sugar, divided
3 large eggs
1¼ c. whole milk
2 t. real vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. slivered almonds
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Grease a medium-sized baking dish with softened butter. Set aside.
If using frozen cherries, place thawed and drained cherries in a medium bowl or container and add one tablespoon sugar. Add 1-2 tablespoons of almond-flavored liqueur, if using, or gently press the cherries to release remaining liquid and toss to combine. Set aside.
Place the top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat oven to 350°F.
Add eggs, milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, and flour to a high-powered blender. Pulse just until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and foamy. Do not over-blend.
Tip: Over-blending the batter can activate the gluten in the flour and lead to a tough, rubbery consistency. Blend just until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and a bit foamy.
Arrange the cherries in the bottom of the greased baking dish and pour the batter on top.
Add the slivered almonds in a single layer on top and gently press down with a spatula so they are mostly submerged in the batter, but still near the top.
Place the baking dish in the pre-heated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.
Tip: Test for doneness after 35 minutes by inserting a toothpick into the center to see if it comes out clean. Adjust final cook time accordingly. Do not over bake.
Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Dust with powdered sugar right before serving.