Wine matching: cherry clafoutis

Chateau Mauras 2010

Jolys Cuvee Jean Jurancon

Bernardins Muscat d B d V 13



350g cherries, pitted

3 tablespoons caster sugar

2 tablespoon kirsch

For the batter:

60g plain flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

3 free range eggs, lightly beaten

60g caster sugar

200ml milk

100ml single cream

½ teaspoon vanilla essence

icing sugar, to dust

crème fraîche, to serve

serves 12

Place the pitted cherries, the kirsch and the sugar into a bowl, stir well and leave to infuse for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180c. Place the batter ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a jug and leave to sit for 20 minutes.

Grease a 20-25cm baking dish, spoon in the cherries and their juices and pour over the batter. Bake for 30 minutes or until puffed up and golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool until just warm. Serve dusted with icing sugar and serve with crème fraîche.

Wine matches

Château Maurus Sauternes 2010 (£6.99 for 50cl, Lidl)

I love the versatility of clafoutis. You can make it with so many different fruits as they come into season from spring through to autumn, but the start of the run is in May with cherries. Sweet batter and ripe fruit calls for an equally sweet wine, but nothing that will overpower the subtle perfume of the cherries, even if bolstered by kirsch.

Sauternes, the most famous sweet wine of France, is made from a blend of Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grapes in the Graves region of Bordeaux. It often works well with rich, egg-based fruit dishes, but some would be too powerful for this dessert. This apricot and honey-scented Sauternes is lighter in style and has plenty of freshness that will complement the clafoutis. It’s also exceptionally good value.

Château Jolys Jurançon ‘Cuvée Jean’ 2011 (£11.99 for 50cl, Waitrose)

Jurançon is a relatively obscure region in South West France in the foothills of the Pyrenees but the wines, both sweet and dry whites, are well worth seeking out. The sweet versions are made primarily from the equally obscure Petit Manseng grape, and although the wines are intensely flavoured they are fairly lightly weighted with a vivid freshness.

The Château Jolys ‘Cuvée Jean’ is made from grapes which are left to concentrate on the vine well into November before being picked by hand. It has a vibrant intensity of tropical fruit flavour and a hint of coconut. It’s beautifully balanced; sweet but not sickly.

Domaine des Bernardins Muscat de Beaumes de Venise 2013 (£16.00 for 75cl, The Wine Society)

Muscat comes in many guises across the south of France; the Beaumes de Venise appellation is situated in the southern Rhône. Quality can be variable, but Domaine des Bernardins is one of the masters. This fifth generation family estate is now run by Elisabeth and Andrew Hall, and their son Romain is the winemaker. Alongside the classic white Muscat grapes they use a rare red-skinned version that adds depth to the fragrance.

This unctuous but fresh example is sweet but balanced and has great length of flavour. It has juicy apricot and peach flavours but what will really make this pairing work well are the lifted bergamot and orange blossom aromas that will chime with the fragrant cherries in this dessert.

Based on a recipe by Louise Pickford. First published in Living France magazine.