Today is our final January post in our year-long project that I'm calling the Kitchen Matrix Project, after Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix cookbook. You can read about it: here. I'm very excited about the dishes and the bloggers who are joining me. Next month, Wendy at A Day in the Life in the Farm picked the recipes. I can't wait to follow along with her choices.
This week, I picked 'Clafoutis + 3 Ways' for the group which means we could make Cherry-Pistachio Clafoutis, Peach Clafoutis with Star Anise, or Mango Coconut Clafoutis...along with any variations or adaptations that we needed or wanted.
But, first, I'm going to be a little bit of a stickler on terminology. You wouldn't expect anything else from me, right?
Clafoutis comes from the Limousin region of France and is traditionally made with black cherries; all other variations - made with plums, prunes, apples, cranberries, blackberries, peaches, and mango - are called flaugnarde. And here's another interesting tidbit, for clafoutis purists, the cherries are baked with their pits intact. The pits, when heated, supposedly impart a unique flavor to the custard-like batter. My cherries are pitted so...not traditional. But I did use cherries, so it is a clafoutis.
The Other Clafoutis
Triple Cherry Clafoutis with a Kick
I decided that I liked Bittman's variation with star anise and cayenne which he used with the peaches, but I wanted to make a clafoutis, so I melded together two of his recipes. And because Jake and I are not eating sugar this month, I skipped the sugar in Bittman's recipe and added in vanilla extract, some cherry liqueur, and a dash of ground cinnamon, too. In addition to the pistachios, I added dried cherries for another texture.
The boys' responses: (1) It's not sweet enough and (2) If you were trying to make a spumoni with the cherries and nuts, it didn't really work. Turns out they didn't like the dried cherries or the pistachios. So...next time I'll stick to the fresh cherries and the liqueur.
- 1 pound cherries
- 3/4 C heavy cream
- 3/4 C milk
- 1 t pure vanilla extract
- 2 T Luxardo cherry liqueur
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 C flour
- 1 t ground star anise (I first tried this with a mortar and pestle, but ended up using an electric coffee grinder)
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- pinch or two of cayenne
- 1/4 C dried cherries
- 1/4 C raw pistachios
Destem and pit the cherries. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cherries in the bottom of a buttered baking dish (I used an 8" square pan and a larger ramekin).
In a blender, combine remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
Pour the batter over the cherries and scatter with dried cherries and pistachios
Bake until batter is set and the clafoutis is browned on top, approximately 40 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.