It’s a Good Thing: Martha’s Cherry Clafouti

Martha Stewart has changed my life twice. The first time was in 2005 when I watched a made for TV movie about her life called “Martha Behind Bars.” The film opens on her shooting a segment for her show. The director calls cut, and as it turns out, someone brought her a cabernet sauvignon instead of merlot. (GASP!) Cybill Shepherd, who plays Martha, loses her shit and yells, “Did I not ASK. FOR. MERLOT?” This moment changed my life because every time I hear the word “merlot,” I re-enact this scene. Either in my mind or out loud.

The second time was in 2009 when I found a recipe for Cherry Clafouti in a Martha Stewart Living magazine. It looked so delicious and so simple So I tore the recipe out of the magazine.

Yes, I STOLE it. WWMD, amiright?

A clafouti (or clafoutis) is a baked French dessert of fruit, usually of black cherries, and arranged in a butter dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. I got that definition from Wikipedia. You can ALWAYS trust Wikipedia.

This recipe is simple and elegant. The hardest thing about this recipe is pitting the cherries. I do not own a cherry pitter. And cherry pits are like that guy that you dumped in 8th grade: clingy.

I searched for ways to pit cherries without a cherry pitter (use a straw! Use a chopstick!) but I did not have those things. So I used a meat thermometer, with the pointy side pointing up. Did it work? Yeah. Did I almost pierce my hand through more than once? Absolutely. Life is more fun when you’re in constant danger of disfigurement. Once that was done, my kitchen looked like an episode of CSI.

I didn't do it, officer. I swear.

I didn’t do it, officer. I swear.

But then the rest? Smooth, custardy sailing. Whisk, arrange, pour and bake.

This is a sophisticated dessert, especially when you consider how easy it is. The custard is smooth and creamy. The cherries are sweet and tart and break up the creaminess of the custard.

So, Martha Stewart, I salute you. This recipe really is a good thing.

Oh dang.

Oh dang.

— Cherry Clafouti, from Martha Stewart Living

  • Unsalted butter, for dish
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup creme fraiche, plus more for serving
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, plus more for dish
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces cherries, halved and pitted
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch baking dish, 1 ¼ inches deep. Coat with granulated sugar; tap out excess. Whisk eggs, yolk, and flour in a medium bowl; whisk in creme fraiche, milk, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt. Arrange cherries in prepared dish. Strain batter over cherries. Bake until browned around edges and set in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve warm with creme fraiche. Note! Clafouti is best warm, so bake it just before you serve dinner. Scoop it into bowls, with a spoonful of creme fraiche.

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