Clafoutis is one of my favourite French desserts. It represents everything that French food stands for - it uses uncomplicated ingredients, it is elegant, it showcases ingredients that are abundantly found in the region of the dish's origin. In other words, it's perfect. Clafoutis originated in the south-central region of France called Limousin. Desserts with black cherries are long-established in that area and it is common not to take out their pits before using them in baked goods. The reason is the subtle woody flavour locked inside of the pit that gets released when being heated. It is that delicate almond-like essence that infuses the clafoutis with that "something something" that you can't identify but you know the dish is not as good without it.
I love to elevate my clafoutis by giving the cherries an overnight soak in some Cassis, a flavourful black currant French liqueur. I let my cherries "bathe" in that celestial juice for at least eight hours and the next morning they come out even more enhanced, plump and infused with aromatic, bottomless notes of Cassis. The combination is magical. Clafoutis is that happy ending to any meal. It is that last kiss, that overwhelming emotion after the curtain drops at the theater or that ideal summer morning somewhere in the midst of France, filled with sunshine, laughter and a light breeze playing in the heavy branches of cherry trees.
2 cups of black cherries,
1/5 cup Cassis,
Butter (enough to butter the pan),
1 cup of milk,
2/3 cup of flour,
1 tbsp. vanilla extract,
1 teasp. lemon zest,
Pinch of salt,
Pinch of nutmeg.
Put cherries in a shallow dish and cover them with Cassis. Do not remove the pits. Let them soak overnight. Grease the baking pan and preheat the oven to F425. Remove your cherries from the soaking dish and place them in the greased pan. Add the rest of your ingredients to the blender and add 2 tbsp of Cassis where your cherries were soaking. Pour over cherries. Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to F350 and bake for another 40 minutes.