Roasted Cherry Clafoutis
Adapted from Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook
1 pound Bing cherries (or other sweet variety),
stemmed and pitted
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and arrange an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Lightly butter or spray a baking sheet and a large ceramic baking dish (such as a pie plate or gratin dish) with cooking spray.
Place the cherries on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, zest, cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Toss the cherries with seasonings on the baking sheet. Roast until the fruit is juicy, tender and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Give the pan a shake about halfway through cooking to keep the cherries from sticking to the pan. Remove the cherries from the baking sheet with a
slotted spoon and transfer them to the baking dish, arranging them in a single layer. Pour any juices into a small saucepan.
Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
For the clafoutis batter, with an electric mixer in a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt to soft peaks. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of sugar until well-blended, then beat in the flour, vanilla, almond extract and cream until smooth. With a rubber spatula, stir about a quarter of the beaten whites into the batter to lighten it first, then carefully fold in the remaining whites.
Pour the batter evenly over the cherries. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the batter has puffed and browned. During baking, reduce the reserved cherry juices to a thin syrup over medium heat. Dust the finished clafoutis with confectioners’ sugar and serve with a drizzle of the cherry syrup.
Note: To cut down on prep time or to enjoy this dish when cherries are out of season, a bag of frozen, unsweetened cherries (usually labeled “dark, sweet cherries”) can be thawed, drained and used in place of fresh cherries in this recipe. Reduce sugar by half.