It’s July, and cherries have arrived. The big, plump ones we all eat too many of – if that’s possible – and a wee bowl for spitting pits (although it’s infinitely more satisfying to spit them into the grass) has been on my counter all week. My fingers are perpetually red.
Most people buy cherries (these come from BC) to eat them by the bag; rarely to bake with. I seek out those who own cherry pitters and make their own pies and try to become their best friend, but those people are few and far between. If you, like me, aspire to be a cherry pie baker but never quite get around to it, a clafoutis might make a good first step. (Or last step – who needs a pie when you have clafoutis?
If you’re not already acquainted, a clafoutis is a French country cross between puffed pancake and custardy pudding. It’s traditionally made with cherries, but virtually any kind of fruit will do – juicy stone fruits, like peaches and plums, work best. You serve it in wedges, for breakfast or dessert. I heartily endorse a slice with coffee, but it looks dazzling dusted with sugar at the end of a meal. And it’s simple to put together, despite its gorgeousness; the eggs do all the work, puffing up dramatically in the oven. You, of course, get all the credit.