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Blog

Filtering by Category: french

Cherry Clafoutis

Patricia Reitz

I spotted some lovely dark sweet cherries at the farmer's market and immediately thought about rushing home to make cool, creamy clafoutis - a classic French custard dotted with ripe fruit.  Cherries are traditionally used, but you can use other fruits, like this blueberry version I posted a few years back.  

Happy summer!    

how to make cherry clafoutis, cherry clafouti, recipe with how-to photos - ButterYum

Start by removing the pits from 2 cups of cherries (or maybe a little more if you really like cherries).  These cherries were particularly delicious so I definitely wanted to add a few extra to each serving.

LOVE my cherry pitter.  I only use it once or twice a year, but it's one of those kitchen tools that turns an arduous task into a fun one.   

how to make cherry clafoutis, cherry clafouti, recipe with how-to photos - ButterYum

Next, butter mini tart pans and place them on a half sheet pan just in case there are any spills to catch.  Don't forget to butter those dishes or you'll have to chisel custard-cement out of your dishes.  Been there.

These are actually individual creme brulee dishes that measure 4.5-inches in diameter.  I love them for individual desserts, but I actually don't like to use them for creme brulee (find out why here).  If you don't have individual dishes, just make this recipe family-style using a 9-inch quiche pan, casserole, or pie plate.  

how to make cherry clafoutis, cherry clafouti, recipe with how-to photos - ButterYum

Back to the recipe, divide the pitted cherries evenly among the dishes.

how to make cherry clafoutis, cherry clafouti, recipe with how-to photos - ButterYum

Make the custard by combining the remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth.  So easy! 

how to make cherry clafoutis, cherry clafouti, recipe with how-to photos - ButterYum

Pour the custard evenly over the cherries.  See all those air bubbles?  They won't affect the flavor of the custard, but I don't like the way they look so I have a trick to share with you...

Break out your kitchen torch!  I love any excuse to pull out the kitchen torch.  So much fun!!!

how to make cherry clafoutis, cherry clafouti, recipe with how-to photos - ButterYum

Time to bake.  The clafoutis will puff up in the oven, but it will shrink down again as it cools.  I didn't have any spillover, but the sheet pan is there just in case.... and it makes removing 6 molten-hot dishes of custard from the oven much easier.  Just saying. 

how to make cherry clafoutis, cherry clafouti, recipe with how-to photos - ButterYum

Mmmm... I wish you could smell the intoxicating aroma wafting through my kitchen right now.   I want!!... but first I have to wait for these babies to cool.  Ugh... Torture!

Traditionally, clafoutis is served at room temperature or chilled.  It's hard for me to wait for one to chill completely before enjoying, but I must confess that I do prefer them cold out of the fridge, especially for breakfast.  

Dust with a little confectioner's sugar before serving if you like, but I don't find it necessary.  Hope you'll give this one a try.  Enjoy!  

Items used to make this recipe:


CHERRY CLAFOUTIS

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh sweet cherries, washed, pitted, and stems removed

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup whole milk (or half and half)

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • pinch of fine salt

  • optional: confectioner's sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Butter six 4.5-inch round creme brulee dishes; place on a rimmed sheet pan.

  3. Divide cherries evenly among dishes.

  4. Combine the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor until completely combined.

  5. Pour batter evenly over the cherries.

  6. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the custard begins to turn golden brown around the edges.

  7. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

  8. Garnish of whipped cream, creme fraiche, and/or a dusting of confectioner's sugar. Makes 6 servings.

Eclairs

Patricia Reitz

I can honestly say, eclairs rank very high on my list of favorite desserts.  When I was young, I'd buy them from a bakery, but I now I know how to bake them from scratch at home.  Let me walk you through the process.   

We'll start by making the pastry which is technically called pate a choux (sounds like pot-ah-shoo).

In a 4-quart nonstick saucepan, heat water, milk, butter, salt, and sugar until it boils.

While you're waiting for the mixture to boil, have the flour and eggs ready to go.

Okay, the milk mixture is just starting to boil - time to add the flour.

Add all the flour at once...

And stir vigorously until all the liquid is absorbed.

When all the liquid is absorbed, continue stirring constantly...

how to make pate a choux, choux paste, eclairs - lots of how-to photos.

Until a smooth paste forms and pulls away from the sides of the pan.  We're not quite there yet, but almost.

how to make pate a choux, choux paste, eclairs - with lots of how-to photos.

Just a few more moments and we're done.  Remove the pan from the heat.

step-by-step photos and recipe for how to make pate a choux, choux paste, eclairs

Transfer the paste to the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor.

how to make eclairs from scratch. how to make pate a choux from scratch. how to make choux paste from scratch. RECIPE AND HOW-TO PHOTOS

Add the eggs, mixing one at a time, until no traces of raw egg remains.

Transfer the mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip (like this one).  I like to use disposable bags (like these).  Using a star tip helps the pastry dough expand evenly in the oven.

how to make eclairs from scratch. how to make pate a choux from scratch. how to make choux paste from scratch. RECIPE AND HOW-TO PHOTOS

Pipe the eclairs on a silpat lined sheet pan.

how to make eclairs from scratch. how to make pate a choux from scratch. how to make choux paste from scratch. RECIPE AND HOW-TO PHOTOS

Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and bake.

how to make eclairs from scratch. how to make pate a choux from scratch. how to make choux paste from scratch. RECIPE AND HOW-TO PHOTOS

They'll puff up during baking, which creates a hollow space in the center.  

how to make eclairs from scratch. how to make pate a choux from scratch. how to make choux paste from scratch. RECIPE AND HOW-TO PHOTOS

That hollow space is just begging to be filled with creamy vanilla pastry cream (recipe here).

how to make eclairs from scratch. how to make pate a choux from scratch. how to make choux paste from scratch. RECIPE AND HOW-TO PHOTOS

But before we can fill the pastry shells, we need to turn them upside down and poke a few holes in the bottoms.  I used a chopstick to poke the holes.  The holes will allow excess steam to escape as the shells cool, and they'll be where we pipe the pastry cream filling inside.

how to make eclairs from scratch. how to make pate a choux from scratch. how to make choux paste from scratch. RECIPE AND HOW-TO PHOTOS

Place the pastry cream in a large pastry bag fitted with a bismark tip.  Squeeze the filling into room temperature shells - fill them up completely.

Use an offset spatula to scrape away any excess pastry cream.

To make the ganache, heat cream and chocolate together, whisking to combine.  Dip the tops of each eclair into the ganache and allow to set. 

Serve them as is, or place them in paper wrappers.  Just grab a standard cupcake wrapper and flatten it out a bit.

Like this.

Eclairs recipe and how-to photos - ButterYum

Then place the eclairs on the wrapper and serve. 

Items used to make this recipe:


Eclairs

makes about 20 eclairs (3 to 4 inches long)

Ingredients

Pastry Shells:

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon table salt

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 5 large eggs

  • confectioner's sugar for dusting

Filling:

Ganache Topping:

  • 8 ounces dark chocolate (really good quality)

  • 8 ounces heavy cream

Directions

TO MAKE THE PASTRY SHELLS:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F and place rack in center position.

  2. In a 4-quart nonstick saucepan, heat the milk, water, butter, salt, and sugar until it boils.

  3. Immediately add the flour and stir vigorously until all the liquid is absorbed by the flour and a paste forms; continue stirring constantly until the paste dries out and forms a ball that cleans the sides of the pan.

  4. Transfer the paste to the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor and allow it to cool for a couple of minutes.

  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated.

  6. Transfer paste to a large disposable pastry bag that has been fitted with a large star tip (I used Ateco #826).

  7. Pipe the paste into 3 or 4-inch lengths on a silpat lined sheet pan; dust with confectioner's sugar.

  8. Bake in 450F oven for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F and continue baking for 25 to 30 minutes more.

  9. Remove from oven and allow to rest until they're cool enough to handle, then poke a couple of vent holes in the bottom and allow to cool completely.

  10. When completely cool, use a pastry bag fitted with a bismarck tip to fill pastry shells with vanilla pastry cream through the vent holes (my recipe can be found here); scrape away any excess pastry cream from the vent holes.

TO MAKE THE GANACHE TOPPING:

  1. Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.

  2. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat cream over medium heat until it just begins to boil.

  3. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and rest for several minutes; whisk to combine fully and use immediately.

TO ASSEMBLE:

  1. Dip the top of each pastry cream filled shell in the ganache; turn right side up and place on a flattened out cupcake liner or on a serving platter.

adapted from pastry chef Bruno Albouze