Cherry season and clafoutis

“Le temps des cerises” is a very popular french song and I’m sure you have heard its melody before. I know I used to listen to it as a kid when we would stop on the way back from school at this toy shop called “Tant que le loup n’y est pas” and I would turn the tiny music box handles to make them play the melody of this beautiful song. Little did I know, it has much more meaning to French History and culture than I imagined since it has become the symbolic hymn of theblood  bath evens which ended almost 100 years of French revolution: la Commune de Paris. But I’ll keep this post on the more positive side and will end the littl slightly depressing cultural anecdote here.

It’s cherry season! And I am incredibly excited about eating cherries as much as I can for as long as they last. They’re  my go to snack lately, especially when you can get them for so cheap on North End Road Market in Fulham. Or you could do some baking and incorporate them with my all time favourite ingredient: almonds! In a bakewell tart. Or in a clafoutis if you want to keep it French.

Like the song “Le temps des cerises”, cherry clafoutis is very much a part of my childhood memories… And whenever we make it at home, I just. Can’t. Stop. Eating. It. It’s irresistible. For those of you who have never tried it, it’s basically a baked custard, which crisps up at the bottom and the top, making it a cross between a flanc and a tart and it is filled with juicy cherries – whether you decide to pit them or not, that’s just controversy. And I know we don’t at home because my great grand-father used to say the pit insures amazing flavour but I think it’s just an excuse for our laziness; frankly, who has time to pit a kilogram of cherries?

Anyways, here’s an amazing family recipe of my great grandparents to treat your family as well! While you do that I’m going to eat all the cherries I can get my hands on.

For 4-5 people you will need :
-500g cherries (not pitted)
-60g flour
-100g caster sugar + 1 extra tbsp
-3 eggs
-2 glasses of milk (about 400-425mL)
-1.5 tsp vanilla extract
-1 knob of butter + extra
-a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Grease a baking dish with the knob of butter and place in the oven while you prepare the batter.
Wash the cherries and remove the stems. Pat them dry.
In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, salt and sugar.
Slowly mix in the eggs, vanilla extract and milk until you have a smooth batter.
Pour the batter in the baking dish and dump in the cherries  – they will spread evenly.
Bake for about 40-45min or until the centre is set.
Leave to cool completely until it reaches room temperature, or keep it in the fridge and serve it chill. It’s when it’s at it’s best – il will fall apart if you try serving it hot.