The traditional French version is made with unpitted sour cherries baked in a batter. The pits infuse the dessert with an almond flavor. If you choose to bake this without pitting the cherries, you can leave out the almond extract. Just make sure you warn your guests to look out for pits! You can also make this with other fruit -- try berries, peaches, pears, and apricots! 1 lb. sweet cherries, washed & pitted 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice 1/4 tsp. grated lemon zest A pinch ground cinnamon 1/3 c. sugar 2 eggs, separated 3 Tbsp. sugar 2 Tbsp. flour 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1/4 tsp. almond extract 1/3 c. cream A pinch salt Powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly batter a baking pan lg. enough to hold the cherries loosely in a single layer. Prepare cherries & arrange in the pan. Sprinkle with lemon juice, zest, cinnamon, & sugar. Bake until fruit is tender, about 15 mins, stirring once or twice. Raise oven temp to 375. Butter another gratin dish lg. enough to hold cherries in a single layer. Drain cooked cherries, reserving their juice in a sm. saucepan. Arrange cherries in bottom of dish. Beat together the egg yolks & sugar until well blended. Beat in flour, vanilla, almond extract & cream. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form soft peaks. Stir a little of the whites into batter, then carefully fold in the rest. Pour batter over the fruit in dish, letting a little fruit show through the top. Bake in upper third of oven for about 20 mins, until batter has puffed & browned. While clafoutis is baking, reduce fruit juices to a think syrup. When the clafoutis is done, dust with powdered sugar & serve warm with a drizzle of the syrup.
Adapted from Chez Panisse Café Cookbook by Alice Waters