cherry clafoutis

There are some days where I wake up in the morning in the mood to bake something and more often than not, it’s something sweet =) Today just so happened to be one of those days =P I looked in the fridge to check and see what I could make with stuff I already had at hand… eggs, milk, and cream were a given, but then, there they were, tucked away in the bottom drawer, my ultimate source of inspiration… cherries! We had devoured half a bag of the super sweet, fleshy stone fruit the night before, but there was just enough left for me to make one of the simplest French dishes ever to have a super fancy name… clafoutis!

Clafoutis is a French baked dessert (that my sister absolutely loves with brunch and a nice cup of cafe au lait) that is simply fruit, most notably cherries, arranged in a dish filled with custard batter. I know, it doesn’t sound like much, but the end result is so irresistibly wonderful that Anthony and I managed to eat half the clafoutis even before dinner, haha =P The other half is awaiting its fate in the fridge until tomorrow morning when we prepare brunch =D

I still can’t decide whether or not the clafoutis tastes best warm or at room temp, but it doesn’t really matter because it’ll be delicious either way =) The secret to its moist texture and flavor is the almond flour so if you can manage to find it at a reasonable price, definitely don’t leave it out! If not, you can substitute it with regular flour, but trust me, you’ll be missing out.

This clafoutis also gets an extra flavor punch from the vanilla powder, which you can actually see when you eat it… little black specks of pure, ground vanilla bean. If you don’t have vanilla powder, you can use half a vanilla bean; split in half to expose the pulp and place it in the saucepan with the milk and cream mixture. Just remember to discard the vanilla bean before you pour the milk mixture into the batter.

I decided to pit the cherries this time (as MacGyver would with a bent paper clip) mainly for food photography purposes, but clafoutis is actually traditionally made with whole cherries left un-pitted for extra flavor. Of course, you could just as well take the less rustic route as I did and use pitted cherries or even use an entirely different variety of your favorite seasonal fruits, including apricots, pears, and berries. If you use fruits that are in season, you really don’t need much sugar to make it perfectly sweet. In fact, I’m thinking for Fourth of July weekend, I’d make one with blueberries… can you say, “YUM?” ;)




PREP TIME 15 Min
COOK TIME 30 Min
READY IN 1 Hr
   
SERVINGS 6-8

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound cherries, pitted or un-pitted
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 cup (100 grams) almond flour
1/3 cup (50 grams) all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
pinch of vanilla powder or 1/2 vanilla bean**
butter and sugar, for coating the mold(s)
powdered sugar, for dusting

  

EQUIPMENT:

Baking dish*
Saucepan
Whisk
Mixing bowls
Baking sheet
Metal strainer or fine-mesh sieve

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 340 °F.
  • Butter the baking dish*. Dust with sugar, tapping out any access, and place on a baking sheet for easier transportation to and from the oven. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan, warm up the milk, cream and 1/4 cup of sugar over medium-low heat just until the sugar melts and milk begins to simmer. (A bit of sugar helps prevent the milk mixture from burning on the bottom of the saucepan.)
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, vanilla powder and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Create a well in the middle. Beat the eggs in a smaller mixing bowl and pour into the well. Gently whisk, starting at the center of the well and working your way out to the edges of the bowl to prevent any lumps in the batter. Set aside.
  • Sprinkle the baking powder over the warm milk mixture and whisk to combine. (You can use the same whisk you used for mixing the batter.)
  • Slowly pour the frothy milk mixture over the batter and gently whisk in a stirring motion to combine. Make sure the whisk reaches the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate all of the batter.
  • Pour the custard batter into the prepared baking dish* and arrange cherries on top. Bake until the custard sets and top turns golden brown, about 25-30 minutes for shallow, individual ramekins and 35-40 minutes for a whole tart pan. Let cool slightly and dust with powdered sugar using a metal strainer or fine-mesh sieve. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.


 

NOTES:

  • You can use shallow, individual ramekins, ceramic tart pans, or removable-bottom tart pans to make clafoutis. I used a removable-bottom tart pan with an extra layer of foil protection wrapped around the outside since the batter is quite liquid-y and might leak through during baking. Let it cool to room temperature and with a little finesse, you can release the clafoutis from the tart ring for a beautiful presentation and slice individually. (I saved a little bit of the batter to make just one individual clafoutis for pictures =P)
  • If you don’t have vanilla powder, you can use 1/2 vanilla bean. Split the bean in half, length-wise and scrape out the pulp using a paring knife. Place the vanilla bean and its pulp in the saucepan with the milk mixture and continue as directed. Discard the vanilla bean before adding in the baking powder.

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17 comments to cherry clafoutis

  • Gwen

    My husband is on a gluten-free diet, but I’d love to try and make this for our anniversary brunch next month. We usually celebrate our anniversary at our favorite brunch spot, but since this year marks our 20th year together, I wanted to put together a special brunch for him at home. Can I just substitute the all-purpose flour for more almond flour? Thanks!

  • Lilia

    Hi Gwen, I think it’s so sweet of you to cook for your husband on your anniversary! To make the clafoutis gluten-free and taste just as good as the original, I would use 1 1/4 cup (125 g) almond flour and 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (25 g) rice flour. I wouldn’t recommend substituting all of the all-purpose flour for almond flour since you do need some starchiness to keep the clafoutis from crumbling. A little bit of rice flour should do the trick ;) Happy Anniversary!

  • Love your blog…and the food photos are gorgeous!

  • Lilia

    Thanks, Ally!

  • Lan

    i made this recently, not your recipe specifically, but the dessert. i am not a cherry fan, pitting them was annoying but i am happy to say it came it out edible, i think in part because i threw in candied orange peels to balance the cherry flavor. it was not, however, as beautiful as yours.

  • I recently made a blackberry-peach one with thyme and fell in love with clafoutis. I am dying to try this. Looks lucious. Thanks!

  • Beautiful blog and great recipe! Thanks for sharing.
    -Gina-

  • This looks divine! Cherries have always been my favourite fruit, but I’ve never made clafoutis before. Your recipe sounds delicious and very easy, so I can’t wait to try it when cherries are back in season here in Oz.

  • Interesting tip about the unpitted cherries. I’d like to try it that way, although I’d have to make sure my kids knew to expect the pits! Thanks for sharing.

  • Lilia

    Lan & Eliot: Cherry with candied orange peel and blackberry-peach with thyme, oh my! I think both would go deliciously well with the almond flour =)

    bistrogerard: My sister actually made this clafoutis with frozen cherries, which turned out quite well for her, so the good news is you don’t have to wait until next season! You can also substitute for other fruit, such as peaches, plums, and pears.

    Thanks, Gina & Torviewtoronto!

    fooddreamer: If you have smaller kids, I’d stick with pitted cherries, just to be safe ;) I just read your post/plea on basil ice cream and I totally know how you feel! Our basil plant is still growing strong too =) I’ve been muddling the leaves with a little bit of sugar to make basil fruit spritzers with sparkling water. I’ve been using raspberries, but I suspect it’d go well with peaches and plums, too =)

  • That looks yummy and I’m sure blueberries would be perfect in it as well.

  • Loved this recipe- looks delicious

  • I have to say that this looks so sinful! I simply must make it as soon as I can. Maybe with strawberries or raspberries. Oh YUM! Thanks for sharing!

  • Looks amazing! I totally know what you mean about waking up and just needing to bake. My husband calls it my addiction! Love your photos, nicely done!

  • Looks delicious, and your photos are beautiful!!!!

  • Just printed your recipe and am heading downstairs to make it now! Thank you.

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