I love cherries. I genuinely can’t get enough of them, and will happily eat my way through an entire punnet in one sitting. You can get cherries all year round nowadays, but out of season they’re usually not very sweet, and also horrendously expensive. So when fresh, seasonable cherries are readily available, I go a bit mad!
You can, of course, make cherry clafoutis in a pie dish, simply the fruit and batter. This is both delicious and easy, but if you want to make a bit of an effort, I think it’s well worth baking one in a pastry case. I also think the pastry adds a good textural contrast to the silky custard and sweet fruit. I think a savoury pastry case is also a good idea – it really contrasts the sweetness of the cherries and allows them to shine.
- 250g plain flour
- 125g unsalted butter, cubed and slightly softened
- 1tsp fine salt
- 1tsp caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp cold milk
- 500g dessert cherries
- 75g plain flour
- 75g caster sugar
- 75g butter, melted
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tbsp kirsch
- 1tsp vanilla bean paste
- 150ml whole milk
Tip the flour out onto your work surface, and make a well in the middle.
Add the butter, salt, sugar and egg, and cream the mixture together, incorporating the flour slowly.
As the dough starts to come together, add the cold milk, and knead until smooth.
Flattern into a disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190c / 170c fan.
Prepare a deep 23cm flan tin on a baking sheet.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, to a thickness of about 3mm
Wrap the pastry around your rolling pin, and carefully drape across the flan tin.
Lift the pastry inwards, and ease it down into the bottom of the tin.
Using a leftover scrap of dough, push the pastry into every corner.
Leave an overhang of pastry all around the tin, pressing gently on both sides.
Line with ovenproof clingfilm and rice, and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the clingfilm and rice, and bake for another 5 minutes, until the pastry bottom looks dry.
Leave to cool for 5 minutes before trimming the top of the tart shell.
Turn the oven up to 200c / 180c fan.
Sift the flour into a large jug and add the sugar.
Add the beaten eggs, kirsch, vanilla bean paste, and melted butter, whisking to a smooth batter.
Whisk in the milk.
Arrange the cherries in your pastry case, and then pour over most of the batter.
Slide your baking sheet onto the oven shelf, then pour more batter in, filling the pastry case as much as you safely can.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until the middle just starts to colour.
Allow to cool for 30 minutes, and dust with icing sugar to serve.