For the first eighteen years of my life, I had never tasted a cherry. Never known its tartness, its juiciness, the tugging on the stem during a loving struggle and then the indelicate spit of the pit, with such sweet relief in the flesh that follows. (For the record, I am not counting the syrupy spheres consumed as part of my Shirley Temple habit in this woeful reminiscence.) It took a move across the ocean to discover the cherry — la cerise — in the markets of Paris. Though I did eventually get sick of Nutella crêpes, I never lost my taste for cherries, that had been unjustly, if unknowingly, kept from me for so long. I now know they are thankfully abundant during North American summers, but I will always associate cherries with Paris, and with a decadent detour in my pâtisserie-led wanderings of the city: clafoutis. Clafoutis, a cherry-filled custard, is also a transplant to Paris. The dessert was born in the region of Limousin, where it is customary to used non-pitted cherries for increased flavor, despite the fact that the pits can potentially be poisonous to children (Perhaps that is why my parents kept me from cherries for so long? Out of benevolent protection? Nah, still bitter…).
Mary Ellen at Whisk Together felt this French connection with cherries, and made this beautiful Cherry Clafoutis — sans poison. Thanks, Mary Ellen. Parting with Paris was sorrowful, but a reminder of cherry clafoutis makes it that much sweeter.
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