a journal of tea-inspired foods and recipes
If there’s one thing I can count on being in my fridge all summer long, it’s a big bag of cherries. As soon as they become available at our local supermarket, we snatch them up weekly. Even better when the local Colorado cherries arrive at the farmers market a block from our house. As cherry season winds down, I’ve been exploring different ways to enjoy them than just straight out of the bag.
This Cherry “Clafou-tea” is a riff off the traditional French cherry clafoutis (or clafouti), a custardy like dessert made with milk, eggs, and cherries or other berries or stone fruits. Somewhere between a soufflé and a puffy pancake, this super easy treat can pass as either a dessert or a breakfast or brunch dish.
My tea foodie twist was to incorporate coarse ground Earl Grey tea leaves into the clafoutis batter. The tea leaves add a unique texture to the final dish and the bergamot flavor of Earl Grey is a nice complement to the cherries, vanilla, and lemon zest ingredients.
Happy cooking and sipping!
P.S. Thanks to Teatulia for a sample of their beautiful Earl Grey, with bergamot scented black tea leaves from their own organic tea garden in Bangladesh.
(Adapted from a Cherry Clafouti recipe by Bon Apetit, 2011.)
1 cup whole milk
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup flour
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons loose leaf Earl Grey tea, coarsely ground (I used Teatulia’s Earl Grey)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¾ pound fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted
4 ( 8 oz.) ramekins
Powdered sugar (optional)
¼ cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring milk to a simmer over medium heat then remove from heat.
2. Whisk together eggs, flour, sugar, tea leaves, salt, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk in hot milk.
3. Generously brush ramekin dishes with melted butter. Divide batter among ramekins, filling about halfway. Divide cherries between ramekins, making sure ramekins are no more than three-quarters full.
4. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes. The clafoutis should be set and no longer watery; they will have puffed up beyond the edge of the ramekin like a soufflé. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving; whatever puffed up will fall back down during this time, and that’s okay.
5. Serve warm or at room temperature dusted with powdered sugar and/or topped with a dollop of whipped cream.