Wednesday, 14 July 2010

At Home: Cherry Clafoutis

4 kilos of plump juicy cherries landed on our doorstep, the bounty from a neighbour's garden. Devouring them in one sitting was not an option, even for the most gluttonous. So, to other uses...

Surprisingly, most cherry recipes in classic cookbooks - Leiths for example - feature only the canned variety. Inevitably, cherry pie came to mind, but it seemed too obvious, so I trawled the Web and found this lovely clafoutis recipe, by the venerable Diana Henry. The rest will be preserved as cherry sorbet, perfect spiked with a dash of ice-cold kirsch or vodka and served in little glasses on a hot summer evening.

If you can be bothered, stone the cherries. I didn't. And remember to grease your dish before filling it with the cherries and batter.

150ml (5fl oz) double cream
150ml (5fl oz) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp kirsch or amaretto
3 large eggs
125g (4½oz) caster sugar
pinch of salt
25g (1oz) plain flour
600g (1lb 4oz) cherries
toasted flaked almonds (optional) and icing sugar, to serve
  • To make the batter, mix the cream, milk, vanilla and alcohol. Whisk the eggs, sugar and salt in a separate bowl until the mixture triples in volume and is pale and fluffy. Fold in the flour and then the milk mixture.
  • Arrange the cherries in a copper, cast-iron or ceramic gratin dish about 24cm (9½in) in diameter, and pour over the batter. Cook in an oven preheated to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for 30 minutes, or until the batter is set (it may take an extra five or so minutes if you’re using a ceramic dish). Scatter on the toasted almonds if you’re using them and sift a little icing sugar over the top. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes then serve warm with crème fraîche or pouring cream.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Back soon...

Due to the happy distraction that is my 5-week-old son Charlie, I've been neglecting my blog. I intend to return, though, before long, with more London restaurant reviews and the odd bit of home cooking.