The famous cherry dessert from south central France! This Cherry Clafoutis recipe features plump, juicy, sweet cherries that are enveloped in a rich batter and baked until golden brown with a texture that’s a cross between a cake and custard. It’s pure heaven!
What is Cherry Clafoutis?
Pronounced “cla-foo-tee” (also spelled clafouti in the English speaking world because of the silent “s”), clafoutis is a rustic fruit-studded dessert baked with an egg-rich batter until golden-brown on top. Its texture is something between a cake and custard.
The name clafoutis comes from the Occitan verb clafir, which means “to fill”, as in pouring the batter into the baking dish). It’s traditionally made with black cherries (and purists maintain that it should only be made with black cherries otherwise it’s technically a flognarde), but other variations nonetheless exist including with plums, nectarines, apricots, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, apples and pears.
Traditionally the dessert is made with un-pitted cherries as the pits contain amygdaline (the same active chemical found in almond extract) that has a subtle almond flavor that is infused into the batter as it bakes. In order to avoid that unfortunate visit to the dentist we recommend pitting the cherries and using pure almond extract instead.
Clafoutis originated in the Limousin region of central France where its popularity peaked in the 19th century (though its origin may be much earlier) and soon spread throughout the whole country. It remains one of France’s most famous desserts.
Château de Rochechouart, France
Cherry Clafoutis Recipe
One of the things I love most about this dessert is how incredibly easy it is to make. If I were to publish a cookbook for kids, clafoutis would be in it!
- Butter a baking dish and fill it with cherries
- Place the milk, cream, eggs, flour, sugar, butter, salt, vanilla extract, and almond extract in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour the batter over the cherries.
- Bake until the top is a rich golden brown and the top is firm but the clafoutis jiggles when you gently shake the pan. Let it cool for a few minutes and then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm by itself or with some whipped cream or vanilla custard.
That’s it! Dessert couldn’t be any simpler.
The only thing that will take a little practice is getting the timing right on how long to bake it. This also comes down to personal preference, but clafoutis should be fairly firm to the touch but jiggly when you gently shake the pan. Over-baked you’ll have a chewy-eggy textured cake. Under-baked and you’ll have cherries floating in pudding. Baked just right you’ll make Goldilocks happy with a texture that is a cross between cake and custard.
To summarize with pictures:
Place all of the ingredients, except for the cherries, in a blender and blend until smooth. Poor the mixture over the cherries in a buttered casserole dish.
Bake it until the top is a rich golden brown and the top is firm jiggles when you gently it. I love the texture of clafoutis, a cross between cake and creamy custard.
Let it cool for a few minutes and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Serve warm by itself or, even better, with some whipped cream or our homemade vanilla custard.
For more delicious French goodies try our:
- French Almond Plum Cake
- Pot de Creme
- French Almond Cake with Lavender Lemon Glaze
- Blackberry Clafoutis
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 large eggs , room temperature
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon quality pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon quality pure almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups cherries , pitted (fresh or frozen; if frozen thaw and drain completely)
- powdered (confectioner's) sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.Place the cherries in the bottom of the baking dish.Put all remaining ingredients (except for the powdered sugar) in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the batter over the cherries, place the baking dish on the middle oven rack, and bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is a rich golden brown, the clafoutis is set but still slightly jiggly. Remove it from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla custard.
Originally published on The Daring Gourmet July 3, 2020