gifts from the freezer

Well look at that, I did a little website cleanup! 

I've been in the mood to post here lately, after a long break.  Maybe it's the as-always frustration of early spring, when I'd like to be outside but it's raining/snowing/sleeting/blowing 40 mph winds.  Maybe it's the excellent posts I've been reading elsewhere lately. That's how I got started writing here, inspired by other folks.

So it's been a while!  I could go into all sorts of reasons, like a huge (ongoing) kitchen remodel for one, but I thought I'd just start back here with a recipe. This is the time of year of pulling hopefully awesome stuff out of the pantry and freezer that I put away last fall.  I got in the habit of writing on my freezer bags suggested uses besides just quantities, and when my spouse was rooting around to make a batch of wine last month we found a bunch of bags of cherries marked "2 cups, for clafoutis"  Oh yeah, I had almost forgotten!

Clafoutis has become a go-to treat for us the last couple of years.  It started with our first harvest of tart cherries, but I now use it for all sorts of fruit.  It's faster than a pie or cake, uses one bowl and the the simplest of ingredients you always have around, and is relatively low in sweetness which to me makes it a perfect breakfast with a cup of coffee. 


Cherry Clafoutis

There are a lot of versions of this, Julia Child uses even less flour, but while I like the custardy-ness of the texture I wanted a little more density.  My version, after noodling around online, was originally found here). 



  • 2 cups sour cherries
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/8 tsp salt 
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract (or more to taste, see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • optional: 1-2 Tbsp. cherry or almond liquor


Pre-heat the oven to 400 F. Melt the butter and let cool slightly while you get started. Beat the sugar and the eggs with a whisk until they turn light in color and increase in volume.  I like a stand mixer for this, but it's not required.  Slowly add the butter, beating to incorporate. Tip the salt into your cup of flour and add all at once, continuing to whisk until incorporated. Slowly pour in the milk a little at a time. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, and the liquor if you are using it, mixing well. The batter should be very smooth and shiny.

Place the cherries in a 9 or 10 inch buttered dish (a cake or pie pan, or even a skillet will work). Pour the batter over the fruit. Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 40 minutes, until puffed, moderately browned and almost completely set in the middle.  Once it's close, I gently jiggle the pan every five minutes until the center no longer moves--this is a very moist dessert so it's unlikely to hurt if you go a little longer here; under-cooked can be a bit runny, especially in warm weather.

Allow to set up for 15 minutes or so before serving, it will collapse slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature. I store in the refrigerator for several days, but it doesn't last long around here.


Last summer I made my own lazy cherry "almond" extract by covering a jar's worth of cherry pits with vodka and steeping them for several weeks before straining.  The result is a rosy-colored concoction which is lovely in baked goods. I use this in place of the liquor here, using a tablespoon or two--I have had this turn my batter a wee bit grainy, I suppose from the alcohol, but it didn't seem to affect the outcome at all.

As mentioned any fruit (fresh, or from the freezer) works fine here. I've used apples, rhubarb, raspberries/blueberries.  Frozen fruit tends to stay at the bottom, while fresh will sometimes float up a bit, but either way tastes delicious. While in-season or home preserved fruit is great, this would work equally (well, almost) as well with a pint of berries from the grocery, or from a bag of frozen (unsweetened) store-bought fruit. 

I usually use a glass pie pan, because you can see the pretty fruit better. I'll set it on a sheet pan just for ease of loading it into the oven without sloshing.

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