Jean noted that Paris looks like heaven. I always hoped it was the Wonka Factory. But if there is a heaven, and if Jean’s always right – mais oui – it is surely full of cherries.
I wasn’t going to bore you with the standard, ooh-that-stunning-eggplant market stuff – well, maybe a little – but heaps of ripe, stemmed cherries are everywhere in Paris, and I mean everywhere – tumbling off fruit stands into pools of creme fraiche, glistening on tarts and popping from every man, woman and child’s hand to mouth. And it’s not the only thing that’s red – back to the cherries in a minute:
So much sunlit red, and dizzy red wine – and with that, let’s get back to small red fruit. I have never seen so many cerises in my life – and believe you me, it’s painful to ogle the goods with no kitchen around.
So I am counting on you to bake Julia Child’s recipe for Cherry Clafouti, a traditional and traditionally easy no-crust French tart that bakes ripe cherries right into eggs, milk and sugar. This happy match-up makes Clafouti acceptable for breakfast – or whenever – and preferably cold, and eaten standing up.
Julia Child’s Cherry Clafouti
1 1/4 cups milk
2/3 cups sugar, divided
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups cherries, pitted
powdered sugar, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Using a blender, combine the milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour, and blend.
Lightly butter an 8-cup baking dish, and pour a 1/4-inch layer of the blended mixture over the bottom. Set remaining batter aside.
Place dish into the oven for about 7-10 minutes, until a film of batter sets in the pan but the mixture is not baked through. Remove from oven (but don’t turn the oven off, yet).
Distribute the pitted cherries over the set batter in the pan, then sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Pour the remaining batter over the cherries and sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until the clafouti is puffed and brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm. Serves 6-8 for dessert, 4 for breakfast, or one Marilyn for about 2 days. (Julia totally didn’t say that. But I wish she had)