For the past few Christmas’ we (in the loosest sense) take on the task of cooking up a feast. I am in charge of dessert and begin practicing in August so I am as efficient as I can be on the day of the live performance.
One of the favourites that I have learnt is the beautiful Cherry Clafoutis. The Pâte Brisée pastry is just perfect with it to add an extra crunch to the baked batter mix. I make this with slightly different quantities and method that I used for the Tart Aux Quetsches as it is sweetened and has a batter mix in it. However if I am in a rush or having many guests around I make mini ones without the pastry (as seen above).
What you need:
For the Pate Brisee (pie dough):
150 g butter, diced
250 g flour
Pinch of granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cold milk
For the filling:
40 g butter (melt this and let it cool slightly)
40 g flour
30 g sugar
1 vanilla pod, split
A dash of kirsch
500 g black cherries (pitted)
(1) Heap the flour on your work surface and make a well in the middle. Place the butter, salt, egg (beaten), sugar in the well and using your fingertips mix and cream the ingredients together (excluding the flour at this time).
(2) Little by little draw the flour into the mix and work the dough delicately until it has a grainy texture.
(3) Add the milk and incorporate gently with your fingertips until the dough begins to hold together.
(4) Using the palm of your hand work the dough by pushing it away from you 4 or 5 times until it’s smooth.
(5) Roll into a ball, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for about 2 hours.
(6) To make the batter whisk the egg and flour together in a bowl.
(7) Add the melted butter and the kirsch (a good dash of this) and slowly work the sugar and milk into the mix.
(8) Scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and stir into the mixture.
(9) Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and roll out the pastry to fit your dish, it should be around 3mm thick.
(10) Place your pastry in your pastry tin and trim the excess so that it is flush against the rim. Prick the pastry base with a fork several times and place in the fridge to chill for about 30 mins.
(11) Preheat the oven to about 160 °C (fan assisted) and blind bake the case using ceramic beans and baking paper for 15 minutes. Remove the ceramic beans and paper and turn the oven to 170 °C and bake for another 5 minutes.
(12) Remove from oven and turn it up to 190 degrees. Spread the pitted cherries evenly in your pastry case and pour the batter in so that it comes up just shy of the rim.
(13) Bake for about 25 minutes until the mixture is light brown in colour. You should also test that a tip of a knife comes out clean when you insert it into the centre.