Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is a Whole-Cherry Clafoutis or Clafoutis aux Cerises..The French are partial to Clafoutis - a rich, baked batter, typically studded with cherries.
A Clafoutis is like a batter pudding, where fruit is suspended in a flour and egg batter. Some recipes are soft, like a deflated soufflé, others, like this recipe, firmer and more custard like. A Clafoutis of Cherries is probably the best known, though all stone fruits such as peaches and apricots and other fruits such as pears are used sometimes, too. Apart from the cherries (and yes, I pitted them – even Gaston Lenôtre´s recipe calls for pitted cherries) you will need fresh eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla (I scraped the seeds from a vanilla bean), flour, milk and cream. For baking the Clafoutis you will need a shallow china dish or a few mini oven-proof dishes like the ones that I used.
One of the delights of the summer, cherries are much loved for their succulent texture, flavor and gorgeous good looks. The juicy flesh can be sweet or sour, depending on which of the hundreds of varieties they are. Since cherries are at their peak in mid-July, what better time to make the most of these summer fruits. You should make sure to buy plump, shiny cherries that have their stalks attached and you should always look for fruit that is dark red, firm but not hard. Generally, pale cherries are sweet and dark cherries more acidic. It is always a good idea to try before you buy to get the flavor that you prefer. Remove stalks and use a cherry stoner to pit the cherries. You can keep unwashed cherries in the fridge for 3-4 days and wash them just before serving. Cherries also freeze well. Sweet cherries are suitable for eating, sour cherries are great in tarts, pies, crumbles and sauces.
There is only one sort of drawback to cherries, if you are not lucky enough to have a cherry tree in your garden, they tend to be rather expensive, so you never get to eat enough of them. But at this time of year, when the crop is ripe and the harvest is going full tilt you should binge on cherries. Compared to most other fruits, cherries are low in sugar, so the dusting of the top of the Clafoutis with icing sugar is not a conceit, that extra hit of sweetness seems necessary.
It was time to take our dessert on a picnic again, seeing that the weather has not been the friendliest all summer long, it was so nice to take advantage of a nice and sunny day and visit a wonderful castle about a half-hour drive from where we live.
The Augustusburg and Falkenlust palaces in Bruehl, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany have been listed as a UNESCO cultural World Heritage Site since 1984 as examples of beautifully preserved rococo architecture. They are connected by the spacious gardens and trees of the castle grounds (Schlosspark).
The palaces were built at the beginning of the 18th century by the arch-bishop of Cologne, Clemens August of Bavaria (1700-1761) of the Wittelsbach family. The architects were Johann Conrad Schlaun and François de Cuvilliés.
The gardens were designed by Dominique Girard. An elaborate flower garden for an area south of the palaces was also designed, but it was restructured by Peter Joseph Lenné in the 1800s and turned into a landscape garden.
In the hunting lodge called “Falkenlust”, Clemens August could pursue his favorite hobby falconry and entertain guests.
Schloss Falkenlust (Falkenlust Castle) was built from 1729 to 1740, in the style of the Amalienburg hunting lodge in the park of Nymphenburg Palace by François de Cuvilliés. It is within walking distance of the Augustusburg palace. It is open to the public and inside you can see the fantastic decorated interior and furnishings. Outside are fabulous gardens, with fields, ponds, and wooded areas.
Nearby is a chapel which is built to represent a secluded grotto.
The inside and the outside of the tiny chapel were decorated with glass stones in different colors (blue, green and turquoise) and sea shells - quite different and very pretty.
I have made many Clafoutis before and I have even blogged about a Percoche Clafoutis (which is a stone fruit as well and a cross between a peach and an apricot). Clafoutis is a wonderful easy and versatile dessert that everyone enjoys whether you prepare it in one large dish or use individual serving dishes.
To see whether the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed this recipe as well, you can click here.
“La pâtisserie, vous savez, on ne la fait pas pour nourrir les gens mais pour leur offrir de la douceur à partager.” (GL)
- For more information on the "Falkenlust and Augustusburg Castles”, you can visit the website of the main castle www.schlossbruehl.de.
- Both castles were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984 (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list).
What beautiful palaces! Fit for such a grand clafoutis. I especially like your little heart shaped one.ReplyDelete
Thank you, we like visisting these castles every once in a while and yesterday seemed to be the perfect time - sunshine, the perfect late afternoon picnic weather.Delete
Wow, clafoutis and a palace thanks so much for the treat.ReplyDelete
Diane, my pleasure!Delete
A history lesson and a yummy dessert. Cherries are at their peak right now in Utah. We had a tree years ago when our children were small. It provided delicious fruit and a tree house as well. But it died and our children moved on. Now I buy cherries from a farmers market--they are still yummy!ReplyDelete
Love your photos--I hope you are having a wonderful summer. We have had grandchildren here most of the summer but we have a 2 week break then we are off to chicago to visit more grandchildren. Life is good!
Cindy, what a lvely comment - there are not too many cherry trees in our neighbourhood either and I also get our cherries from the farmers´market or my very favorite fruitmonger - the ones I used for the Clafoutis hailed from France and they were deep burgundy colored and very sweet. How nice that you spent so much time with your grand-children, sounds wonderful!Delete
What a gorgeous place to have practically on your doorstep and of course the perfect setting for a picnic. I love clafoutis (with pitted cherries - too precarious for teeth otherwise!) Hope you are having a lovely weekend, Andrea.ReplyDelete
Hester, thanks a lot, yes, pitted these cherries were and frankly no differenece in taste if you do not pit them. If you take ripe sweet cherries and fresh milk, eggs and cream and vanilla seeds scraped from a pod, the Clafoutis will certainly not lack in taste.Delete
I absolutely love your photos, Andrea. I so enjoy all the lovely places you take us to. Such an enchanting setting for a picnic…and you pack one heck of a picnic! Your mini clafoutis look perfect and I’m sure they were delicious! I pitted my cherries, too! These were enjoyed by all. Have a wonderful weekend!ReplyDelete
Kathy, some days I just need to go out there and pack that china and forks and linen napkins and haul all that precious stuff to a beautiful place or rather refuge and then we do have quite a picnic there, and I feel much better and happier afterwards! Thanks for your nice comment, Kathy!Delete
Kathy, some days I just need to go out there and pack that china and forks and linen napkins and haul all that precious stuff to a beautiful place or rather refuge and then we do have quite a picnic. And I do feel much better and happier afterwards. Thanks for the nice comment, Kathy!Delete
What a beautiful place! Love the clafoutis - I actually have all the ingredients - must try! I agree with pitting the cherries!ReplyDelete
Mary, my kids were almost fighting over the Clafoutis and I had to promise to go and find some more wonderful sweet cherries and make some more next week - and I will happily oblige. Cherry season is so short.Delete
I love your mini clafoutis desserts, perfect for a picnic at such a beautiful castle. Your photos are lovely, and I enjoy hearing all the history to goReplyDelete
with them. Tricia and I enjoyed all the history lessons going thru the chateaux, it certainly was interesting. Have a wonderful weekend.
Nana, glad to read that you had a wonderful time in France - I am very much looking forward to marvel at all the photos, especially the ones from the kitchens and the castles.Delete
Was für wine schöne Post! The photos are exquisite and my favorite part is finding out that LeNôtre pitted his cherries as well. I have received many 'tsk-tsk's from French people who say the cherries must have their pits! Why? I see no good reason at all... So this made me very happy, as did seeing your beautiful china in front of the Schloss! Thanks for this am have a great weekend! ~ DavidReplyDelete
David, ganz lieben Dank für deinen überaus lieben Kommentar! Right now I am certainly impressed with your German and it makes me happy to read that you enjoy this post (and my china). Taking my food "on the road" has become somewhat of an obsession - so much so that the kids always glance at me when we go somewhere and say "you are not taking that food along for a photo seesion, are you?!"Delete
I love the photographic jaunts you take us on with your posts, Andrea. And you always seem to bring the perfect dishes to complement the setting! Your clafoutis are nearly as elegant as the palace itself.ReplyDelete
Teresa, thank you my friend, glad that you like the setting for these pictures and the (newly acquired) dishes for the setting as well. So many beautiful dishes out there and so little time.Delete
Cherry Clafoutis is one of my all time favorite dessert. Yours look wonderful with individual serving. :) And thank you for sharing these beautiful photos. Gorgeous and breath taking!ReplyDelete
Thanks. Amy - the kids love those individual serving dishes and I must admit I quite like them as well - they are fun to take on a picnic because they come with individual little covers which makes transportation even easier.Delete
Beautiful travel photos! I always love when you share your journeys with us.ReplyDelete
And your miniature cherry clafoutis (hmm, what's the plural of clafoutis?) are adorable!
Beth, what a lovely comment - thank you. Nice to read that you enjoy our "outings" and the food we take along. As a matter of fact, I believe there is no plural of "Clafoutis" since the word itself ends with an "s" already! Have a wonderful Sunday!Delete
What a delightful excursion and a delicious dessert to enjoy! Wow, the photos are so fun, love the beautiful architecture! I can't think of a summer dessert that I might enjoy more than this!ReplyDelete
Chris, these trips are fun and a nice way to change one´s mind on a late Friday afternoon!Delete
how fantastic! :) I love picnics and at a castle, no less! your clafoutis looks fantastic in those dishes - especially against that gate! LOL!ReplyDelete
Alice, thank you for the fabulous comment! The gate that surrounds the castle looks quite impressive and it seemed like the perfect place for a photo session.Delete
What a wonderful picnic! And Clafoutis - so fun and elegant.ReplyDelete
Christy, thank you - and how very nice to hear from you, it has been quite a while.Delete
Now, that is what I call a PICNIC!ReplyDelete
Stunning photos. WOW. x
Kim, picnics always seem to be more than plastic forks and knives and paper plates for us - we like it that way and it is nice to read that we do not seem to be the only ones. Thank you for the comment!Delete
I am not sure what is prettier, the castle or those lovely pink dishes. I think those are some of the prettiest dishes I have ever seen!ReplyDelete
Cher, now that is a wonderful comment - it makes my day to read that you enjoy this post and like the dishes and the surroundings.Delete
Wow what an amazing castle and the Clafoutis looks amazing. Love how you have incorporated the desserts with the castle in your photos - very clever. I keep meaning to make a Clafoutis but I have never got around to it - you have inspired me to give it a go :) Have a great day - Karen!ReplyDelete
Karen, thank you for the wonderful comment - Clafoutis is such an easy and quick dessert and although I also always think that I never have the time, thankfully putting this dessert together practically takes no time at all.Delete
I want to live there or I want to visit there with you! :) I love today's post - different from usual. Cherry Clafourtis is my first clafoutis I made, but I want to try other kinds when I get a chance! Yours look perfect, Andrea!ReplyDelete
Nami, you are such a darling - Cherry Clafoutis iw ewonderful but there are so many other possibilities, in the end you could use whatever fruit strikes your fancy that day and you would always enjoy it!Delete
Beautiful Palace!! Just love cherry clafoutis!!! Mrs. P has never tried it so i should probably make it for her soon.ReplyDelete
Thnak you, you should make some delicious Clafoutis for your darling wife, I am sure that she would enjoy it and there are so many different fruits you could use, including all kinds of stone fruits but blueberries are also wonderful in this.Delete
Thank God for Gaston Lenôtre. He's my hero. I have never been served a clafoutis with pits intact in the States or abroad. That was new to me. Those seashells being included in the decorative walls intriqued me. Isn't that unique for your region? Perhaps it gave it a more "secluded grotto" effect. As usual, your food presentation with your lovely containers was beautifully done. I liked that you used three different mini-containers. Fun. I bet your eager tasters enjoyed this week's recipe - which looked very tasty - as well as the outing.ReplyDelete
Mary, yes, Gaston Lenôtre was quite the knowlegable person and teacher and baker and when I read that he used "pitted cherries" for his Cherry Calfoutis, I knew that I was going to pit the cherries too - besides, who likes to have pits in their dessert?! Not us. And you are right about those seashells, the closest we are to any kind of water source, is the Rhine River and there are no seashells to be found on the banks of that river.Delete
While the clafoutis in the cute small containers is a great idea so is visiting that wonderful palace. What a great place to enjoy the clafoutis.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, glad that you enjoy these miniature dishes and the lovely surroundings as well.Delete
What a fun day! You're lucky to have such incredible castles so close by. I tend to binge on cherries when they're in season, too. Luckily for my wallet it's a short season!ReplyDelete
I always enjoy when you take us for a visit to your surrounding area...it is lovely. I love that you took your delicous cherry clafoutis with you for this post. :)ReplyDelete