Clafoutis comes from the Limousin, a flat agricultural area in the center of France, but versions of this simple pudding can be found all over. In the Auvergne, for example, it is known as millard, or flognarde when made with pears. Clafoutis is suited to tart fruits such as apples, plums, and most famously cherries. If you follow tradition like me and leave the pits in to add a hint of bitterness, be sure to warn guests or they may crack a tooth!
Butter the baking dish, and then sprinkle it with granulated sugar, turning and tilting the dish until evenly coated. Spread the cherries in the dish. For the batter, put the sugar in a bowl, add the eggs, and whisk until light and frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the flour and salt and stir just until smooth. Do not overbeat or the pudding will be tough. Stir in the milk. The cherries and batter may be prepared an hour or two before baking and kept covered at room temperature.
Heat the oven to 375°F/190°C. If the batter has sat, it may have separated slightly, so stir to mix it, and then strain it over the cherries. Bake the pudding until browned and just set, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then sprinkle with the kirsch (the aroma from the alcohol is a treat in itself). Dust generously with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.
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