Foods: When you have cherries, make Clafoutis!

Friday, December 6th 2013. | Food

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I am rather fond of cherries . . . when we lived down South in Kent, during cherry season the roads and byways were filled with local sellers plying their wares . . . fresh English cherries, served up warm in paper bags.   I could never get my fill.  Half of each bag purchased always disappeared in the car on the way home . . . as if by magic.

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Normally I would only eat these tasty little babies in season . . . I am a lover of seasonal eating, because usually these types of things really only taste wonderful when they are in season . . . the way they were meant to be eaten.   But when I received the latest and last installment of the  Ultimate Cookbook from the Sunday Times, I couldn’t resist one final foray into cherry-indulgence for the year.   The Cherry Clafoutis recipe by Gordon Ramsay (from his book, Sunday Lunch) was screaming my name and I just had to make it.

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Over the past three weeks, and finishing this week, The Sunday Times has been  publishing a pull out Ultimate Cookbook as part of the Incredible Edibles Food Series, dedicated to food and dining.   This final week’s focus is on the Dinner Party,  and you can get your copy of The Sunday Times Ultimate Cookbook:  Dinner party this weekend, on Sunday the 8th of December, featuring a wonderful variety of the finest and most delicious Dinner Party recipes brought to you by a great ensemble of celebrity chefs and restaurants from  here in the UK.

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I love Dinner Parties.  They are the perfect opportunity for you to really bring your culinary and entertaining skills to the forefront!  This lovely little pull out cookery book is filled to overflowing with delicious recipes . . . impossible to resist . . . and for the most part simple to prepare, because as we all know, part of the fun of entertaining is being able to enjoy the evening with your guests in comfort, knowing that you have done your best to plan and provide for them a delicious repast, from beginning to end . . . free from stress and pressure.

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You can pick from such tasty delights as Rowley Leigh’s Parmesan Custards with Anchovy Toasts and Gizzie Erskine’s delicious looking Beef Wellington, which is not as difficult to make as one would imagine!  Each recipe looking more fabulous than the last, it was really difficult for me to choose just one to prepare to show you . . . but I do have a rather sweet tooth and so the Cherry Clafoutis won out!

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*Gordon Ramsay’s Cherry Clafoutis*

Serves 6

Printable Recipe  

Cherry.  Clafoutis.   Need I say more?  A fundamental classic, done well.  Adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe in his book Sunday Lunch.  

50g ground almonds (9 1/2 TBS)

15g of plain flour (2 1/2 TBS)

pinch of fine sea salt

100g caster sugar (1/2 cup)

2 large free range eggs

3 large free range egg yolks

250ml of double cream (1 cup plus 4 TBS)

unsalted butter to grease

icing sugar to dust

300g fresh cherries, washed and pitted (about 2/3 pound)  

Whisk the ground almonds, flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl.  Make a hollow in the centre of the mixture.   Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks and cream.  Pour this mixture into the hollow in the dry mixture.  Whisk together until the batter is smooth.    Transfer the batter to a jug, cover and allow to rest in the refrigerator for an hour or so, or overnight.    

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Butter four individual oven dishes, or one large shallow oven dish, really well.   Dust the base and sides with icing sugar.   Scatter the prepared cherries amongst the dishes, dividing them equally.   Give the chilled batter a stir, and then pour it over the cherries in the dish(es).  Stand the dish(es) on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and risen.  Check to be sure the clafoutis have set in the middle.  If they haven’t, then bake them for an additonal five minutes.   Allow to stand for 5 to 10 minutes before adding a dusting of icing sugar and serving warm. 

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of The Sunday Times Ultimate Cookbook:  Dinner |Parties this weekend, on Sunday the 8th of December 2013, the final installment in a four-part series.  Featuring a selection of the finest recipes of the celebrity chef era.  The Ultimate Cookbook is part of  The Incredible Edibles Food Series dedicated to food and dining.  Many thanks to The Times for allowing me to participate in presenting this fabulous series to you.

Visit thesundaytimes.co.uk to subscribe and to find out more details about exclusive Times + chef events hosted at some of the country’s best restaurants.

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