Clafouti du Limousin

Cherry Cake

Limousin claims this dessert as its invention—but so do the good cooks of Berry. Whose creation it was originally I do not know, except to say that the cooks of Berry in preparing it insist upon using the cherries of Poligny, a small market village specializing in the fruits of the Jura Mountains. The original recipe cooks the dough as pancakes, while in Touraine it is baked in pastry, thus a cherry tart. I prefer the pancake or tart to the Limousin way, but here is the Limousin cake.

Ingredients

  • cups sweet black cherries
  • Butter and flour
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ¾ cup whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon Kirsch
  • Sugar

Method

  1. If using fresh cherries, pit them without tearing the meat. If using canned cherries, drain them well and then squeeze out the juice. Butter and flour a 9-inch quiche dish, solid-bottomed tart pan, pie pan, or square cake pan. Preheat oven to325 degrees.
  2. Put eggs into mixing bowl. Whisk them together as for an omelette. Mix together confectioners’ sugar, salt, and flour. Blend into the eggs. Add cream, vanilla, and Kirsch.
  3. Pour half the custard into the prepared pan. Add the cherries and balance of custard. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until puffed and brown.
  4. When done, remove from oven and sprinkle with lots of sugar. Set on wire cake rack to cool for 20 minutes. Cake settles as it cools. Cut into wedges and serve.

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