I recently made Julia Child’s Clafoutis aux Cerises (Cherry Clafoutis) for a JC-themed potluck dinner party. Everyone who attended had to bring a dish by this famous member of the Trois Gourmandes and we all enjoyed some rich and delicious food before it was time for wine and board games. I had a huge variety of recipes to choose from for this dinner, but I went with my personal strength: dessert.

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For the last dinner party thrown by this friend, I opted to make a rich potato side dish. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out too well. The recipe was more work than I’d thought it would be, required tools that I thought I had but didn’t, and then overall was a little lackluster. In general, I was disappointed with my performance; the potatoes didn’t reheat well and I felt embarrassed to have brought something that just didn’t represent my culinary skill level.

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It was time for redemption. I chose a recipe for a dessert that I’d made several times before – I was not going to show up with another pathetic dish. Now, I’d never made Julia Child’s exact clafoutis recipe but it was only slightly different from the ones I’d made in the past. The ratios were about the same which, in baking, is what really matters.

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This is a VERY easy recipe! I highly recommend it. It yields a dense custard cake that I’ve described as a cross between a custard pie filling and a pancake. It puffs up high in the oven and then sinks into a rich dessert with cherries in every bite. I wasn’t able to find fresh cherries in April, alas, but the frozen ones worked out just fine. I defrosted them and drained off their excess liquid (in a mesh sieve over a measuring cup – I added that cherry juice to some champagne, too, for an easy cocktail!). You can also use any stone fruit or berry instead of cherries.

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The District of Cookbookers inspired me to master this recipe. I think I must have done well because when I went to grab some desserts and try my clafoutis, I was met with a completely empty and cleaned-out baking dish. I’d call that a success.

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