Wherever I read about clafoutis, I read the same phrase "like a tart". So why not make it exactly like one? The silky custard-like filling is matched perfectly with the crumbly almond crust. The clafoutis is baked traditionally with unpitted cherries - the pits impart an almond-like flavor when cooked. To mirror this without the inconvenience of spitting out cherry pits, I've added a splash of Amaretto to the filling. Almond praline - that caramelized golden dust - replaces the traditional powdered sugar that is sprinkled over the clafoutis. These updates turn this simple dessert into a luxurious affair while still retaining its homey comfort. - Heena —Heena
Test Kitchen Notes
The filling is silky soft and a nice foil for the cherries. I particularly liked the almond crunch on top -- I went for 1/2-inch shards. This made for a great presentation, and was very popular at the dinner party I went to. Note: The tart batter was very wet, which made it difficult to press into the shell. However, it was easier to work with after freezing. - Lauren —The Editors
one 9-inch tart
all purpose flour
pinch of salt
cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Spread the almonds on a baking sheet. Toast in the preheated oven for 8-10 mins, stirring once halfway through. (If making the praline, you can toast the sliced almonds also now - about 5 mins.) Let the almonds cool to room temperature.
Place the almonds in a food processor and process until ground. Add the flour, sugar and salt and process to combine.
Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (Don't over-process, the mixture should have pea-size flakes.)
Add the egg and process in pulses until the dough begins to clump together.
Turn the dough onto a work surface and gently knead once or twice to bring it together. Lightly butter a 9-inch tart pan or pie plate. Transfer the dough to the pan and gently press evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Cover and freeze for at least half an hour.
Cover the crust with aluminum foil, place beans or pie weights on top of the foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 mins.
Pit the cherries. (If you don't have a cherry pitter, a vegetable peeler works very well. Insert the pointed tip at the stem end of the cherry and scoop out the stem and the pit.)
Preheat the oven to 350?F (175?C).
Make the clafoutis batter: Place the clafoutis ingredients in the blender in the order they are listed and blend to get a smooth batter. Don't over-mix.
Place the pitted cherries on the pre-baked crust and pour as much batter as will fit to the rim of the crust.
Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake in the center of the preheated oven until the edges are puffed and golden and the center is set and does not jiggle when the pan is tapped, about 45 mins.
Make the almond praline: Place the sugar in an even layer in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts. Cook further, stirring only occasionally, until the sugar caramelizes and turns golden. Add the toasted sliced almonds and mix. Pour immediately on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and spread to a thin layer. When it is completely cool, chop the praline into shards with a knife or pulse very briefly in a food processor.
Cool the baked tart for 20 mins, garnish with the almond praline and serve immediately or at room temperature.