This is a classic French pudding and one that really celebrates the taste of the fruit that is used. I have used cherries here, which is what are used in the classic version, but I regularly make it with peeled, ripe pears during Autumn.
Other fruits, such as blackberries, blueberries, apricots and plums can be used in place of the cherries. Although this pudding can be served hot, it is so much nicer allowed to cool slightly and eaten at room temperature. Essentially it consists of fruit set in a sweet Yorkshire pudding type batter. Some versions use ground almonds, but I prefer to leave them out as they lend a grainier texture to the finished dish.
I might as well confess that I hate stoning cherries, but it really is worthwhile to do so, because you can then enjoy the full taste of the pudding without being interrupted every couple of mouthfuls to fish out the stones. A special cherry stoning implement can be purchased, relatively inexpensively to make this task easier.
Finally feel free to serve with some softly whipped cream.
350g of stoned cherries
80g caster sugar, plus a couple of extra tablespoons to dust the dish
2 large eggs
90g plain flour, sieved
30g butter melted
½ tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste
2-3 tblsp of icing sugar
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4.
2. Grease a 20cm, round, shallow oven-proof dish with some butter and then sprinkle over a couple of tablespoons of the sugar.
3. Place the cherries in buttered dish.
4. Beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract/paste together with a large balloon whisk. Once incorporated, whisk in the flour. Add in the melted butter and milk and stir until fully mixed into the batter.
5. Pour the batter over the cherries and place in the pre-heated oven for approximately 35 minutes and the pudding has puffed up and is a lovely golden colour.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
7. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.