On a bright sunny morning I met some friends at a lovely farm shop cafe. Our plan was to have a walk in the woods surrounding the farm and then a coffee in the cafe. Before we set off for the walk we went to have a look at some of the pigs in their pens in a large barn. There was a big sow, lying with her eyes closed suckling eleven hungry piglets. She looked exhausted and I hoped she was asleep as her little ones ate.
As we left the pigs and were looking for a good route for our walk, we saw a ‘pick your own fruit’ sign. Who needs to walk when you can pick your own? I love pick your own. I remember going a lot as a child and we would always insist on choosing strawberries. My approach was one for me, one for the basket, one for me, one for the basket.
Today we were carrying little ones on our backs, so we decided that picking cherries off trees might be easier than picking strawberries off bushes at ground level. We walked to the beautiful cherry trees and started picking. I tried to be more restrained than my younger self, but it was hard because the fruit looked so delicious.
As we said goodbye to friends and drove home I thought about what I would do with the cherries. I’d been cooking with pecans recently and enjoying their rich buttery taste. I decided that pecans would go well with the cherries, and that a cherry and pecan cake would be fun – perhaps we would have it for pudding that night? However as I got home time disappeared and before I knew it eight o’clock had come and gone. My energy levels were low and the cake would have to wait.
It was the same story the next night too – it was seven o’clock before I was able to think about the cherry and pecan cake. Baking a cake while also making supper was beyond me at that point. I needed something quicker to do with the cherries. A French friend had mentioned her husband had made clafoutis recently. A clafoutis would be quick and easy – the longest job would be stoning the cherries. This was just the kind of pudding I was in the mood to make. A cherry clafoutis couldn’t be more traditional, but adding the pecans would bring a different texture and their nutty crunch.
Once I had stoned the cherries it took eight minutes to get the clafoutis in the oven. It emerged thirty minutes later lightly browned. All it needed was a sprinkling of caster sugar and it was ready. The hot sweet cherries were surrounded by the lightly sweetened set custard. Nestled in the custard alongside the cherries were the pecans, with their rich buttery taste they were perfectly partnered with the cherries. We ate the hot cherry and pecan clafoutis with some cold Madagascan vanilla ice cream. It was a good end to the day. The next day we ate it again but this time it was cold and we had it with hot coffee. I would struggle to tell you which I enjoyed more.
I can find clafoutis overly sweet. This recipe therefore has about 2/3 the sugar of some other recipes. If you have a very sweet tooth I would suggest increasing to the caster sugar to 140 g / 5 oz.
330 g / 11 ½ oz cherries (these weigh around 280 g once stoned)
100 ml / 3 1/3 fl oz milk
150 ml double or heavy cream
Pinch of salt
85 g / 3 oz caster sugar
14 g / ½ oz caster sugar for decorating the finish clafoutis
100 g / 3 ½ oz pecans
Butter for greasing the tin
Ovenproof dish 25 x 30 cm / 10 x 12″
Ice cream, cream, yoghurt or creme faiche to serve. Or you could just enjoy the clafoutis by itself.
Total carbohydrate – 139 g
Carbohydrate per 1/6 – 23 g
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / 350°F / Gas mark 4.
2. Stone the cherries, I do this with my fingers, you could use a knife if that is easier.
3. Grease the ovenproof dish with the butter.
4. Places the cherries and pecans in the greased dish. Scatter over 30 g / 1 oz of the 85 g / 3 oz of sugar.
5. Measure the cream and milk out in a measuring jug and add in the salt.
6. Add the remaining 50 g / 2 oz sugar to the milk and mix well.
7. Break the four eggs into the milk mixture and whisk well. Pour the mixture over the cherries and nuts. I stir the mixture as I do this to ensure all the sugar isn’t left at the bottom of the measuring jug.
8. Put the dish in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
9. When cooked removed from the oven and sprinkle over 14 g / ½ oz sugar and serve.
If you would like a PDF printable version of this recipe sign up to my newsletter below and once you’ve confirmed your subscription you’ll have access to a PDF version.