Cherry Clafoutis: Easier than it Sounds!

I am a much better cook than I am baker, so I love it when I can make an impressive sounding dessert without needing any serious pastry skills.  A cherry clafoutis fits the bill perfectly.  It sounds like it takes a lot of effort, and well, it doesn't.  I am a regular Bountiful Baskets contributor, and I recently contributed for a case of rainier cherries.  I thought I would have tons of baking and preserving to do in order to use them up.  In reality, we ate all but one bag and this recipe was the only baking I did with them.  You could substitute any other cherry (a clafoutis is traditionally made with black cherries) or many other types of fruit.  If you use another fruit, the correct name for this dish will be a flognarde, also impressive and kind of funn, too.  I think that's my new kid-friendly expletive by the way.

My best description of a clafoutis is that of a cross between a custard and a cake, with a flan-like flavor and consistency.  However you want to describe it, it's delicious.  And, just in case you missed it the first time, it's easy!

Cherry Almond Dairy Free Clafoutis

2 cups pitted cherries (or equal amount of another fruit) *

1/4 cup slivered almonds

3 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup flour, sifted

pinch of salt

3/4 cup almond milk

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 tsp almond extract

Butter and flour a 9" square baking dish.  Stir cherries and slivered almonds together in the bottom of baking dish.  Mix salt, flour, sugar and eggs and whisk until well blended.  Add liquid ingredients and whisk until smooth.  Pour over the cherries in your baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.  Don't be alarmed when the clafoutis seems to "fall", it will puff up a lot during baking and will deflate as it cools.

A clafoutis is traditionally made using cherries containing their pits.  Apparently, the pit gives the custard an almond flavor.  I pit my cherries just for ease of eating, although the ease of baking would increase without this step.  (Especially, if you're like me and can't find a cherry pitter and end up using a fondue fork.) So, to pit or not to pit, it's up to you.

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