Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Cherry Clafoutis Recipe - How to Make A French Clafoutis

Cherry clafoutis is a cherished French dessert that appears on family tables and bistros in late spring and lasts as long as fresh cherries are available. If you ever made crepes or a Dutch Baby pancake, you can make a clafoutis. Of course, it was Julia Child who made it so wildly popular on her television show The French Chef.

This is neither a cake nor a flan. It is more akin to a Yorkshire pudding or popover. Yes, you can use other fresh fruits--even slices of banana! 

Line a pan with cherries, pour in the pop-over-like thin batter, place in the oven and voila! A wonderful summer dessert emerges! Sweet-baked cherries in a custard-like filling. What's not to like? Some add a spoonful of whipped cream--even vanilla ice cream!

First, some history. Some French adamantly insist the cherries should not be pitted because the pit contributes to both the aroma and the taste of the finished product. Some insist it should be eaten warm, not cold. Some add a bit of Kirsch, a cherry-like liquer--or a bit of cherry brandy. Some even add rum. You do you.

If guests are involved, I suggest pitting the cherries. It's not difficult and not worth the angst of someone choking on a pit or chipping a tooth or damaging dental work.

First, I will post Julia's original recipe followed by a video. Then I will post  one by Bruno Albouze, a chef I admire very much--and his creative-ingredients for a magnificent clafoutis. Followed by yet another from Recipe 30 whose clafoutis bakes rich and tall. The last video is for smaller versions (It is from Australia, the reason he has fresh cherries at Christmas.) All have great tips.

I have never used frozen, canned or dried cherries. There are many variations on You Tube, including ones for different fruits. I do not suggest raspberries because they can get mushy.

Julia Child's Cherry Clafoutis:

Serves 6-8 as a dessert; for breakfast, 4

  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 3 cups fresh cherries, pitted
  • Powder sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Using a blender, combine milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour. Blend until smooth.

Lightly butter an 8-cup baking dish and pour a 1/4 inch layer of the batter. Set remaining batter aside.

Place dish in oven for about 7-10 minutes until a film of batter sets in the pan but the mixture is not baked through. Remove from oven. Keep oven on.

Distribute pitted cherries over the set batter. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Pour remaining batter over cherries and sugar.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until Clafouti is puffed and golden and a knife inserted into the cent comes out clean.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.