Dear Foodies & Friends,
This summer I visited the beautiful, Indo-French town of Pondicherry for two days of inspiration and relaxation. I have been to Pondicherry at least five times now, and every time I visit, the experience is something entirely new and exciting. We started our morning early at the beach, at a time when the sun’s rays were nothing more than a gentle, warm caress. Afterwards, we did a lot of sightseeing, and overall had a very productive two days.
The highlight of this trip though, was the food. Pondicherry cuisine is a tantalizing amalgamation of French and Indian tastes, keeping the very best of both. You can find food that’s adventurous, but also traditional. These flavors are ever-changing, with a delicate balance preserving old recipes and techniques while simultaneously introducing modern flourishes. Suffice to say I ate to my heart’s content and then some.
A week or so after I returned home, my mother bought some beautiful, organic home grown cherries from a local farm. The cherries were mild in flavor, not too sweet, with sour undertones. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to practice my dessert skills, as I normally do not have much of a sweet tooth and love making savoury items. The cherries brought me straight back to my memories of Pondicherry, of tiny lanes dotted with patisseries that smelled so invited you had no option but to venture inside. I decided to make this cherry clafoutis in honor of that memory, and for a first time effort, was quite happy with the result. Here’s how I made it:
- 500gms of fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted)
- 2 tablespoons of melted butter
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup of flour
- 1 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon of slivered, peeled almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4th teaspoon of nutmeg
- Powdered sugar to top
STEP 1: Lightly butter the surface of your baking dish and sprinkle a thin layer of powdered sugar on top. Scatter a handful of slivered almonds throughout the bottom of the dish. Preheat your oven to 180° C (360° F).
STEP 2: In a mixing bowl, first add the dry ingredients- flour, sugar, and nutmeg. Mix in the wet ingredients and combine thoroughly. Pour the mixture into your baking dish.
- I love the contrast of colours in this dish!
STEP 3: Bake the clafoutis at 180°C until the top forms a caramel-golden crust. Remove, allow to cool, Et voilà! Bon Appétite! 🙂
P.S. I used halved cherries for this recipe, but I would recommend using whole pitted cherries, as the presentation is so much better. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to make the dish your own!