Amarena cherries are dark bitter cherries from northern Italy. They are usually preserved in heavy syrup. The cherries are particularly good in pastries like zeppole and in gelato. I picked up a jar of Amarena cherries at my favorite deli a few weeks ago to make zeppole, but I never got around to doing so. For weeks, I ‘ve been thinking about how I could use these cherries in some of my favorite sweet and savory recipes. I finally settled on Amarena Cherry Clafoutis—a simple and easy recipe that is ever so flavorful.
The Amarena cherries are preserved in an extra sweet heavy syrup so it’s important to drain the cherries at least 15 minutes before adding them to the batter. If you don’t drain them, it will add more liquid to the batter and it may interfere with the baking time. I drain the cherries over a bowl and keep the syrup to use another day. The cherries have a strong flavor, too. I usually add only one cup of the cherries to the batter so that the flavor doesn’t dominate the clafoutis. Once you taste the cherries, you’ll know if you want to add more than one cup. You can also place the cherries in the bottom of the baking dish, then pour the batter over them.
I prefer any custard pastry to be chilled before serving but my husband couldn’t wait that long to eat a slice of clafoutis. We poured two glasses of milk, whole milk for him and skim for me, and we ate our room temperature pastry. I went to put it up later, and I noticed that half of the clafoutis was gone. He went back for more.
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