How to make Cherry Clafoutis and Whiskey Cherries {In the Kitchen}

by Julie Kohl on July 20, 2012

Cherries are in season! And I love cherries!

Cherries don’t typically grow here in Arkansas but I recently found some delicious ones from Washington at my local grocery store.

I have always liked cherries but grew up on the bright red Maraschino cherries in a jar.  I never really discovered my love for fresh cherries until Richie and I travelled to Montana in late July about 11 years ago.  Since then I have looked forward to fresh cherries every summer.

Cherries are awesome for snacking on or putting in salads.  Honestly, until recently, it never occured to me that you could cook with FRESH cherries.  In my mind, cherries that are used for cooking came in a jar or a can and were filled with loads of red dye!

My good friend Beth, who blogs at the Food Adventuress, wrote a post that inspired me to write this post.  Beth discusses her dislike for cherries from a jar and shares her experience making delicious looking brandy soaked cherries.

In 2009, after reading Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child, I became inspired to study the art of French cooking.  I purchased a copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and aspired to cook my way through it.  It is not my goal to make every recipe but I have made many over the last three years.  One of my favorites was the Tarte Aux Poires a la Bourdaloue, although I have enjoyed every recipe I have cooked from it.

When I purchased those delicious cherries I consulted MtAoFC to see what kind of recipes made with cherries that  Julia recommended.  There were quite a few but the Clafoutis stuck out to me because it was simple and I had all of the ingredients on hand.(Julia Child informs us in her book that Clafoutis is often spelled with the s in both its singular and plural forms although it can sometimes be found as Clafouti, without the s.)

Cherry Clafoutis

Recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

3 cups pitted sweet black cherries
1 1/4 cups milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
3 eggs
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup flour
Butter
Powdered Sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the stems and pits from the cherries and set aside.  Place the following ingredients in an electric blender, in the following order.  Milk, 1/3 cup of sugar, 3 eggs, vanilla, salt and flour.  Cover and blend on high for 1 minute.

Melt enough butter in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or oven safe baking dish to lightly coat the bottom.  Pour in about 1/4 inch of the batter and cook over moderate heat for several minutes until a film of batter has set in the bottom of the dish.  Remove  from the heat and spread the cherries over the batter.  Sprinkle on 1/3 cup of sugar.  Pour on the rest of the batter and smooth over the entire surface.

Place the skillet or baking dish in the center of the oven and bake for about an hour. The Clafoutis is done when it has puffed slightly and browned on top.  A knife inserted in the center should come out clean.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.  The Clafoutis should be served warm.

Serves 6 to 8.

The Cherry Clafoutis was absolutely delicious!  Because the Clafoutis is egg based it has an almost custard like texture.  It does not have a cake like texture that is found in German Pancakes.  Clafoutis is delicious in it’s own right!

Because I had purchased a 3 pound box of cherries, I still had about a pound and a half or more remaining after making the Cherry Clafoutis.  I decided to take Beth’s advice and give some grown-up alcohol soaked cherries a try.  It also didn’t hurt that I had two bottles of Jameson Reserve Label Whiskey.  My mother-in-law had purchased them for me while in Ireland over a year ago.  The taste was smooth and slightly smokey but I am just not a straight-up whiskey drinker.  It was time to put that whiskey to good use!

Whiskey Cherries

3 – 1 Pint Mason Jars
18-24 Cherries per jar (remove pits, stem may be left on or removed.)
1/4 cup of sugar per jar
About 3/4 cups of Whiskey per jar (or your favorite alcohol)

Fill each jar with cherries.  I found I was able to fit between 18 and 24 per jar but my cherries were kind of big. I also had a few Ranier Cherries that I threw into one of the jars.  Once you have packed each jar sprinkle 1/4 cup of sugar into each jar.  Add Whiskey to fill each jar. It will be around 3/4 cups per jar.  Put the lids on each jar and shake gently to dissolve the sugar.  Store the jars in a cool, dark place for AT LEAST 3 MONTHS!  I know, that’s a long time but it will really help the flavor to develop.  Once finished you can also use the wonderful cherry liquor in recipes and drinks. (Note – If you do not want the finished product so sweet you could reduce or eliminate the sugar all together.)

Enjoy!

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1 Beth July 23, 2012 at 11:12 am

GREAT post, Jules! You are going to have to teach me some photography tips at the Arkansas Women Bloggers conference in August – yours are always so adorable!

From the books we’re reading to the things we’re cooking and our inspiration, we are always on the same page. Love keeping up with you! XO!

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