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(recipe, Ethan Becker, Marion Rombauer Becker, Irma S. Rombauer)
This custardlike dessert comes from the Limousin region of France. Classically made with unstoned black cherries, on the theory that the cherry pits add flavor to the cake, this version is called "almost classic" because you have the option of using pitted cherries, a blessing to the unsuspecting. The mixture for a clafouti resembles a thick pancake or crêpe batter and for this reason, according to Larousse Gastronomique, the Academie Française defined the clafouti as a "sort of fruit flan." Under protests from residents of the Limousin, the definition was changed to a "cake with black cherries," even though other types of cherries — and even other fruits — are often used.
Culinate editor's notes: You can use kirschwasser or even an orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier, in place of the Cognac or rum. If you like, let the pitted cherries macerate in the alcohol while you mix the rest of the ingredients. Use a whisk — or, better yet, a blender — to avoid flour lumps in the batter. If you don't have a 10-inch pie pan, a 9-inch pie pan will work just fine, so long as you give the clafouti a few extra minutes to cook. Alternatively, treat the dessert like a Dutch baby and use a large ovenproof skillet (such as a cast-iron skillet) as the cooking vessel. This clafouti, with its careful balance between firm and moist, is essentially the kind you're likely to find in French patisseries. For a jigglier, more custardy clafouti, make Blueberry Clafoutis. And for a drier, firmer clafouti, try Anthony Bourdain's Clafoutis.