english cherry clafoutis

Lindsey Bareham

Another bumper year for English cherries, perfect for this lovely soufflé-meets-custard pudding. To avoid any risk of dental accidents, I’d recommend stoning the cherries but don’t despair if you don’t own a cherry stoner. I make do by winkling out the stone with a pointed swivel-style potato peeler and it takes about ten minutes to do the quantity you will need.

serves 4-6, prep 25 min, cook 30 min

75g butter
400g plump English cherries
250ml thick cream
50ml milk
½ (half) tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
75g caster sugar plus 1 tbsp
25g plain flour

Heat the oven to 200F/gas 6. Melt the butter. Use some to smear a 1 litre capacity gratin-style dish, approx 5cm deep. Remove cherry stalks, use a cherry stoner or stab the non-stalk end with a pointed potato peeler, twist round the stone and gouge out. Spread out in the prepared dish. Bake for 8 min to soften slightly. Tip the cream into a saucepan, rinse out the pot with 50ml milk, add it and vanilla and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for at least 15 min.

Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the sugar and whisk for 2-3 min until creamy and the sugar dissolved. Whisk in reserved melted butter, adding the flour gradually, whisking as you go to make a smooth batter. Stir in the cream. Pour the batter over the cherries. Reduce the oven to 180C/gas 4 and bake the clafoutis for 30 min, or until the pudding has just set. Dust with caster sugar and serve hot, warm or cold.