Unlike other more complicated French desserts, the most difficult thing about the clafoutis is by far the pronunciation (say it with us, cla-foo-tee). Once you get past the French lesson you'll see that this creamy baked custard is a nearly effortless summer dessert—it's really just a matter of scattering cherries on the bottom of a cast-iron pan, topping them with a batter that's buzzed in the blender, and baking until puffy and golden. But what about pitting all of those pesky cherries, you ask? According to Romney Steele, author of Plum Gorgeous, the cherries are traditionally left intact for the subtle almond flavor that their pits impart.
The mildly sweet, crème fraîche-enhanced batter that tops the cherries in this recipe can be used with nearly any summer fruit, from tart little berries to juicy slices of nectarines or even ripe figs later on in the season. And for a bit of a more refined presentation, mini clafoutis can be made in oven-proof ramekins and topped with a scoop of crème fraîche and a sprinkling of toasted almonds.
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