Cherry Clafoutis (Clafoutis aux Cerises)
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Cherry clafoutis (clafoutis aux cerises) is a classic French dessert. The comforting, custardy batter is the perfect complement to juicy, ripe cherries. And it truly couldn’t be easier to make.
Why we love this recipe
This cherry clafoutis recipe is adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. If that’s not reason enough to love it, I don’t know what is.
Clafoutis is a just-right summer dessert hailing from the countryside of south central France. As the French do so well, it combines ease and rustic comfort with plenty of class.
This dessert is:
- SO easy to make. The batter comes together in the blender in one minute, and you don’t even have to pit the cherries if you don’t want to.
- Creamy and custardy. The batter resembles crêpe batter but without all the fuss. It bakes up custardy but with a nice structure, so you can slice it into wedges or scoop it up with a big serving spoon.
- A great way to highlight ripe seasonal produce. But you can use frozen cherries instead if you like!
- A great way to transport yourself to France without leaving home.
- Made from ingredients that you probably already have in the house.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this cherry clafoutis recipe. It’s not much!
- You’ll notice that there’s a very high ratio of eggs and milk to the minimal flour in this recipe. That’s what makes the batter so custardy.
- With just a few ingredients, try to use the best-quality ones you can find. In recipes like clafoutis aux cerises from the French countryside, it’s just assumed that you’ll use fresh local ingredients.
- About those cherries: Traditionally, this recipe calls for UNPITTED cherries, because the pits add a hint of almond-like flavor to the batter. I’ve made it both ways, and these days I much prefer to pit the cherries (especially now that I have a cherry pitter and a couple of willing young assistants). It’s 100% up to you which way to go.
How to make cherry clafoutis
Here’s all you need to do to make this recipe. It comes together very quickly and easily and just needs some time in the oven to do its thang.
- The tiny bit of butter in this recipe is used to grease the pan. The cherries get heated up in the buttered pan for five minutes before you pour in the batter. The heat of the pan then helps the proteins in the batter set quickly instead of sticking.
- While the cherries warm, you’ll mix up the batter in the blender in a single minute.
- Half the sugar goes into the batter, and half gets sprinkled over the cherries. This creates a subtle caramel-like dimension in the final dish.
- Pour the batter over the cherries and bake until it’s custardy and browned. That’s it!
Expert tips and FAQs
Good question! Traditional cherry clafoutis recipes call for leaving the pits in the cherries. The idea is that the pits will impart a subtle almond flavor to the batter.
I’ve made this dish both ways and have found that I prefer to pit the cherries. It just feels more generous to the eaters to have done the work of pitting in advance, and I think the difference in flavor is barely detectable.
Pitted cherries may exude more juice into the batter, so the final result will look a little less put-together. It’s meant to be a rustic dessert, and you can always dust it with a little powdered sugar right before serving if you like.
You could easily add 1/4 teaspoon of pure almond extract to the batter.
You can keep any leftover clafoutis covered on the counter for about 24 hours. After that, refrigerate it for up to a week.
You can! Clafoutis is a great way to feature many types of fruit. It works best with small, ripe fruits (or pieces of fruit) that aren’t excessively juicy. Try blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, apricots, or apple slices.
How to serve clafoutis aux cerises
This rustic dessert needs no accompaniments. You can sprinkle it with some powdered sugar if you like. The custard is amenable to slicing into wedges for a neater look or scooping out of the baking dish with a big serving spoon.
More favorite cherry recipes
For another of our favorite easy desserts with sweet cherries, try cherry crisp (which you can also make in individual servings).
I also ADORE sour cherries. If you’re lucky enough to have some of those, try these recipes:
- Sour cherry cornbread muffins
- Sour cherry frozen yogurt
- Sour cherry French 75
- Sour cherry syrup
- Sour cherry Shirley Temple
- 1 pound (454 grams) cherries
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) butter
- 1 1/4 cups (295 ml) whole milk
- 2/3 cup (132 grams) sugar, divided
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
- Powdered sugar for dusting, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the center.
- Wash and dry cherries and remove stems. You can decided whether to pit them or leave pits in place.
- Use the butter to grease the baking dish. Add cherries and place in preheated oven for five minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the batter. Place milk, 1/3 cup of the sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour into blender and process on high for one minute.
- Remove pan from oven and sprinkle warm cherries with remaining 1/3 cup sugar.
- Pour batter into dish and place back in oven.
- Bake for about 55 minutes, until clafoutis is browned on top and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Serve warm (but not super-hot, because cherries retain heat like crazy and will burn your tongue, I've HEARD), sprinkled with powdered sugar right before serving if you like.
- Traditional clafoutis aux cerises recipes call for leaving cherries unpitted, because the pits impart a gentle almond-like flavor to the dish. Eaters are meant to spit out pits as they go. I've made it both ways and prefer to pit the cherries (especially now that I own a cherry pitter). You can assess your crowd and decide which way to go.
- If measuring flour by volume, use the spoon and level method.
- You'll need a deep-dish pie plate or other baking dish that holds about 8 cups. Here's the one I use.
- Store any leftovers covered on the counter for up to 24 hours. After than, refrigerate for up to a week.
- If you don't already own one, pick up a copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. You won't be sorry.