Clafoutis

Serves 6

Clafoutis is a French tart made with a simple batter. The cherries should be cooked just until they burst, so that the batter becomes soaked in an irresistible and not-too-sweet juice.

40g/1 oz unsalted butter
600g/21oz sweet cherries, washed and stems removed
100g/3 oz caster sugar
tsp ground cinnamon
Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
2 whole eggs, separated
3 tbsp caster sugar
75g/3oz plain flour
75g/3oz ground almonds
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml/3 fl oz double cream
Pinch of sea salt

Wash and pat dry the cherries, then remove the stems. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat.

When it is foaming (but not browned), add the cherries, sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest. Cook gently for 10 minutes or until the cherries are soft, stirring gently from time to time. The juices should have reduced and thickened slightly.

Remove from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, spoon two-thirds of the fruit over the bottom of a shallow, 23cm round baking tin; reserve the rest of the cherries in the juice for serving.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Beat the egg yolks and three tablespoons of sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the flour, ground almonds, vanilla extract and cream. In a separate, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form soft peaks.

Now carefully fold the whisked whites into the batter until they are evenly incorporated, then pour the mixture over the cherries. Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 20 minutes until the batter is puffed and golden-brown.

Let the clafoutis cool slightly for 5 minutes or so before serving, top with the reserved cherries and juice.

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