Gluten-Free Cherry Clafoutis
Clafoutis a la Gluten-Free.
My cherry clafoutis has a little secret. Well. Two secrets. Wait. Actually, three. At least. It's a clafoutis bursting with secrets. But first, I must mention something.
Are you listening, darling?
Put down your iPhone for a moment, will you? You can text later. When you're not driving. Or brushing your teeth- hazardous especially if one attempts texting while scrubbing one's used-to-be-pearly-enough whites (before the advent of dental bleaching) with a vibrating rechargeable toothbrush. Vanilla mint toothpaste can spatter in shockingly wide and impressive arcs, inflicting remarkable damage upon various household goods and personal items including tidy, stacked baskets of freshly folded jeans and t-shirts still cozy-warm from the dryer in the basement, I am sorry to tell you.
But I digress. Back to dessert.
This elegant, company worthy gluten-free dessert is so easy to make you can do it while you mambo. Or hula hoop. Or in between practicing your Windmill and extended Puppy Pose. The hardest part is pitting the cherries. And that's not exactly hard. It ain't rocket science, after all. It just requires a patient heart. And some breathing. You know, so you don't fall over.
And alarm your beloved.
And knock three cups of oozing, juicy cherries (with attendant slippery pits) off the kitchen counter and on to the newly mopped, clean and shiny floor.
o pay attention while you pit, and you'll be golden. I halve my cherries (carefully, of course) and dig out the pit with my thumb. Not exactly high tech. I suppose you could get a cherry pitter. And keep it in the drawer with your apple peeler. And your hard boiled egg slicer.
We all have a drawer like that, don't we?
Cluttered with gizmos that are supposed to make our lives easier. Simpler. Freer.
I wonder if such gadgetry really saves us anything, especially time.
In spite of all my modern conveniences (I am most humbly thankful for our built-in dishwasher- after living in New Mexico without one for three years) I always manage to fill my days end-to-end with things that need to get done. With tasks I can't ignore (though I try, valiantly). Like folding laundry. Excavating dust bunnies. Deleting email. Shopping for chocolate. Brushing my teeth. Adding another book to my bedside stack.
Though when I think of it, adding a book to my pile of must-reads does indeed feel expansive. More so than any gadget. Adding a new book is like adding on new psychic space.
Books make time even more elastic than it is.
Warren Zevon once paraphrased Kierkegaard (he could quote him in his sleep), saying we buy books with the belief that we are buying the time to read them.
It's true. I do feel that way. I believe, with every new book, I will find the time (and space) to read it. Even though I unsubscribed to magical thinking years ago, I admit, when it comes to books- and sexy wild topics surrounding the space-time continuum- my visual imagination conjures parallel universes and bi-locating self expressions faster than you can mimic John From Cincinnati parroting, I don't know, Butchie instead.
I think about this whole time question (another birthday looms, after all) as I stand at the kitchen window pitting cherries. I focus on slicing this petite stone fruit in half, one by one, exhale slowly, and fall in love just a little bit with the Merlot red staining of my fingers.
How many cooks making clafoutis have stood like this in some far off June, pitting cherries to the open window sounds of summer, their fingers crimson with sticky juice?
If for nothing else beyond this red sisterhood, alone, I am grateful today.
The clafoutis bakes.
Vanilla and coconut fill the apartment.
I grab a fork.
The mysteries of the space-time continuum will just have to wait.
Karina's Gluten-Free Cherry Clafoutis RecipeBy Karina Allrich June 2011.
The secrets of my clafoutis? Not only is it gluten-free, Darling, this cherry clafoutis is dairy-free and refined sugar free. I used pure maple syrup to subtly sweeten the almond milk based custard. Coconut flour and brown rice flour are the gluten-free flours I chose to thicken it into its lovely pudding cake texture- light, yet rich. Beyond delightful.
Note: The recipe I used for inspiration is a Julia Child clafoutis recipe as posted by Amy Sherman at Cooking with Amy. I took some liberties with Julia's recipe ratio. Knowing the quirks of coconut flour, I added more egg. I also avoid sugar lately, so I experimented. I cut out the 2/3 cup sugar called for, and used 1/4 cup pure maple syrup to sweeten the custard. I used organic unsweetened almond milk as my non-dairy milk of choice. The result? You won't miss the gluten. Or the dairy. Promise.
1 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk or coconut milk
4 organic free-range eggs
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups fresh cherries, pitted
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Using your favorite vegan butter, grease the bottom and sides of an 8x12-inch oval gratin baking dish. Set aside.
Using a blender or Vita-Mix, whip the almond milk, eggs, maple syrup, coconut flour, brown rice flour, vanilla extract, and sea salt till smooth and frothy.
Pour roughly half an inch of batter into the buttered gratin dish and bake it in the oven until it is lightly set- just a few minutes. Take the baking dish out of the oven and add the cherries in an even layer. Pour on the remaining batter.
Return the dish to the oven and bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges, and set in the center.
Serve warm. Heaven.
Dust with powdered sugar if you like (it really looks pretty), or serve with a spoonful of Greek yogurt, or vegan sour cream.
Cook time: 1 hour
Yield: Serves 6-8
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More gluten-free clafoutis goodness:
Amy's Cherry Clafoutis at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free
Gluten-Free Cherry Clafoutis at Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom
Tartelette's gorgeous Cherry Clafoutis