If you’re organising a Red Nose Day tasting tonight here’s a zany idea for a pudding that I devised for a Sainsbury’s magazine feature a couple of years ago when I interviewed TV presenter Phillip Schofield for Comic Relief.
It’s based on the classic French cherry dessert Clafoutis, a crisp sweet batter with cherries - or rather, red noses . . .
2 x 425g cans of black cherries
3 tbsp of kirsch, cherry brandy or brandy (optional but good!)
4 medium eggs
60g (2 1/2 oz) caster sugar
110g (4 oz) plain flour
A pinch of salt
400ml(14 fl oz) whole milk (i.e. not skimmed or semi-skimmed)
Finely grated rind of one medium unwaxed lemon
A little flavourless oil for the tin
Icing sugar to serve
You will need a shallow rectangular cast iron dish or baking tin about 30cm x 20 cm or 1.5 litres (2 1/2 pints) in capacity
Get the cherries and batter ready two to three hours before making the pudding. Drain the cherries and place in a bowl with the kirsch or cherry brandy, if using. Mix lightly together with a metal spoon and leave to macerate, stirring the cherries into the juice a couple of times. To make the batter put the eggs in a food processor or liquidiser with the sugar, flour, salt and half the milk. Whizz together until smooth then gradually add the rest of the milk. Add the lemon rind and whizz again then pour the batter into a large jug, cover, and leave in the fridge until ready to use.
To bake the pudding preheat oven to 190°C/375° F/Gas 5. Brush the baking dish or tin lightly with the oil and put in the oven for 5 minutes to heat up. Drain the cherries (reserving the juice - a treat for the cook!) and tip into the base of the dish. Give the batter a final stir, pour over the cherries and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes until nicely puffed up and brown. (Check after 20 minutes and if it seems to be browning too quickly turn down the heat to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.) Sift icing sugar over the pudding and serve with pouring cream or vanilla ice cream.
Recommended match: A cool cherry-flavoured fruit beer (Kriek) would be the perfect match with this although you could drink a southern French Muscat or other dessert wine.
Don't forget a number of retailers are selling wine in aid of Wine Relief which is contributing to the Red Nose Day charities. You can find my pick of what's on offer in the Guardian though some are no longer available as part of the promotion.
The photograph which is not of my recipe but one very like it is © Lilyana Vynogradova - Fotolia.com