No, I haven’t given up on French Fridays with Dorie. But various circumstances – not just limited to pregnancy! – kept me from participating in June. Last week’s wheat berry and tuna salad didn’t appeal to me (it was the tuna – I haven’t had much stomach for it lately), and next week’s swordfish is also one I’m going to have to skip, reluctantly, because it’s one of those high-mercury fish that pregnant women aren’t supposed to eat. Also, we’re in a bit of a financial crunch right now, and I’m budgeting grocery spending very, very strictly.

I made an exception for these cherries because 1) they were on sale, and 2) I love cherries. I especially love the big Bing cherries that are so prevalent this time of year. Other cherries, like the little pink Rainiers, are okay, but not my favorite. It’s Bing all the way. No way could I resist this clafoutis. (hint: don’t pronounce the ‘s.’)

What exactly is a clafoutis? Well, it’s kind of like a cake-custard-pudding thing with cherries. I really don’t know how else to put it. It’s got a batter which isn’t flour-y enough to be cake or egg-y enough to be custard or slippery enough to be pudding. It’s just all of those things. Traditional clafoutis are made with whole cherries, pits included. Inconvenient, yes, but supposedly necessary for the best flavor. Of course, it can be made with pitted cherries, but that sounds like extra work and messy work at that.

The first (and only other) time I had clafoutis was in New York City, when my mother and I went to a performance of the ballet Giselle. (The trip was actually for a job interview to teach English in Japan, which I’m very happy to say I got, leading to three of the best years of my life. I should write about it some time, as it was the funnest job interview I’ve ever had. It lasted three days and took place in the Empire State Building.) Anyway, the restaurant at the theater served us a modern French meal, which was finished off by a little dish of cherry clafoutis. This one was a little more tart-like, very similar to the alternative that Dorie provides in her bonne idée, and I don’t remember it having whole cherries. It was still delicious.

This was also delicious. I made it for our 4th of July dessert, because why not?

wholecherries

A pound of whole cherries goes into a thoroughly buttered (or Pam’ed, in my case) pie dish.

clafoutisbatter

The batter (comprised of some basics like sugar, eggs, milk/cream, and a tiny bit of flour) is poured over the cherries. By the time this happened, I was already getting excited about shoving a piece in my mouth.

Bake until puffy.

Bake until puffy.

Mine puffed up real good. It deflated as it cooled, though, and that made it a little more manageable. It had to bake a little longer than what Dorie suggested, but that’s okay. Because I was also going to be baking our dinner, I’d made this earlier in the day and it had all the time it needed.

After dinner, we settled down in the living room to try to watch some Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which was eventually drowned out by the local fireworks. No, not official fireworks. Just neighborhood, suburban fireworks. Apparently, Texans love fireworks. The cats, on the other hand, were not so keen. Neither were we when we woke up the next morning and saw the assorted firework debris that had collected in the yard.

At least we had clafoutis to comfort us.

Whole-Cherry Clafoutis with a dusting of Powdered Sugar. Ah.

Whole-Cherry Clafoutis with a dusting of Powdered Sugar. Ah.

The pits were not a problem for me. I think Geordie would have preferred to have them removed. But then he topped his with some ice cream, and he had nothing else to complain about. I’d like to make this again with some mixed berries; I’m hoping raspberries will go on sale eventually this summer. Maybe I’ll make that for my birthday next month.

This was a very nice dessert indeed, and I’m very glad I made it.

Because I am going on vacation to Florida for two weeks starting this Sunday, I probably won’t be able to do the rest of the July recipes. Even if I do, I won’t be actively seeking out a way to post on the blog (or do anything else internet-related either), so there ya go. But I’m hoping to get back to my regular French Friday cooking come August. I’ve missed it!

This was a popular dessert among the Doristas (no surprise!), and to see their beautiful clafoutis, check out the links over on the FFwD blog. See you guys in August!

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