Traditionally a harvest dish of central France, from the Limousin and the Auvergne, I think it is a pity to wait until late summer to cook clafoutis, since cherries are at their best earlier in the summer.
Generously butter a
Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients, except the cherries, to make a smooth batter. Remove the hot pie dish from the oven, pour in half the batter, and then add the cherries and remaining batter. Return the dish on the baking sheet to the oven as quickly as possible. Lower the heat to 170°C / 325°F / Mark 3, and bake for 45–60 minutes. Serve warm with yoghurt, fromage blanc, crème fraîche or cream.
Other fruit can be used in clafoutis instead of the traditional cherries. Sliced apples or pears, halved and stoned plums and apricots and stoned greengages all work very well, particularly if a little eau de vie or liqueur is added to the batter. Watery acidic fruits, such as rhubarb and gooseberries do not work well, and I would not use soft fruit, except for blueberries and bilberries.
© 1995 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.