Desserts,  Recipes

Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry Clafoutis
Cherry Clafoutis

I’ve always wanted to make a clafoutis, but never had until recently. Something about the name sounds so romantic to me (maybe because it’s French?), which is odd considering this is really quite an easy, homestyle dessert.

What is a clafoutis, you ask? Think of a cross between a dense custard and a thick pancake, baked with fruit. Some recipes call more more or less flour or fewer eggs which will, of course, change the texture on direction or the other. My version, based on one I found in Saveur, has quite a few eggs, so it leans more toward custard with a nice crust. I think it’s a perfect summer dessert, but it could also work on a brunch or breakfast menu.

Apparently the French tend to make this without pitting the cherries first. It’s thought that the cherry pits impart an almond flavor, but frankly, the thought of having to spit out the pits while eating this luscious dessert just didn’t appeal to me. Pitting the cherries by hand was a real pain, but in the end, worth it. It took about 20 minutes, made a mess (wear an apron, trust me on this), and if I were to do any larger volume of cherries by hand, I’d probably buy a cherry pitter.

Cherry Clafoutis
Mmmm…cherries and custard with a crust….


Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry Clafoutis

Adapted from Saveur
2.5 cups ripe cherries, pitted
1 tsp butter
6 eggs
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar
10 fl oz milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp kirsch
3/4 cup flour
pinch salt

Recipe notes:
I used a well-cured cast iron pan but you could do this in a heavy baking dish. Take care if using anything too thin (like a cake or pie pan) as it might burn on the bottom.
The original recipe calls for a much hotter oven but I found it got too brown, too fast at that heat. I also found the kirsch flavor in the original too strong, so I reduced it.
While this is really, really good when warm, the leftovers are also quite tasty the next day when chilled.

Preheat oven to 350

Use the butter to grease the cast iron pan or baking dish. Place half the cherries in the bottom of the pan.

Cherry Clafoutis
To make the batter, add the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract and kirsch to a blender jar. Blend for a few seconds to mix. Add the flour and the salt and blend for 30 seconds to a minute until smooth.

Cherry Clafoutis

Pour the batter over the cherries and sprinkle the remaining cherries over the top.

Cherry Clafoutis
Clafoutis before baking

Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and the custard is set. A wooden skewer when inserted should come out clean if done. Serve warm.

Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry Clafoutis

PS. Often this is served with powdered sugar dusted on top. I was so eager to be done with the photos and eat it that I completely forgot. Honestly, it was just as good without it!


  • jenni

    This looks amazing….however, I gotta ask…is there ANY way to make this vegan? I use egg replacer (rarely…), but I couldn’t imagine it working in this instance….. Im pretty clueless about things that require eggs

    • formerchef

      Jenni-I don’t know. I doubt you’d get the same “lift” you get without the egg/flour mixture. It’s not just the eggs, there’s also milk in there and I just don’t think soy or another milk replacement would work. However, I’d recommend googling “vegan clafoutis”, looks like there are quite a few recipes out there.

  • Jack Etsweiler

    I’m going to use your fine recipe tonight – might even add some cream cheese. I’m going to add the cherries – a mix of the very-much-in-season Rainiers along with some fine giant dark sweet cherries from Washington state – pits intact and the stems sticking straight up. Can’t wait.

  • Kim

    I was looking for a recipe to use on the rest of my cherries sitting in my fridge. I seen this recipe last night on a couple of recipe sites, and happened on your blog, and by the way this is the only place that had nice pictures that wanted me to try it! It must mean that I need to give it a try it, lol, love your blog and can’t wait to read all the archives! I am not much for making dessert, cheesecakes are my one fail proof dessert and I can make them fancy or plain. The old saying about doing one thing well, any way, I don’t like egg custard that much, and was wondering if its the eggy kind of custard ? Since I don’t bake that much other than the above cheesecake and bread, I am always a little nervous of baking, especially if I don’t have a recipe to follow, baking isn’t like cooking for me. Anything in cooking can be saved or changed and no one really would know the difference unless it’s a family recipe. Baking is pretty ridge, if you put a smidgen too much it throws everything off. One of the reasons I tend to stay away from baking from scratch on cakes and pies.
    Thanks so much for all the great recipes.

    • formerchef

      I’m not sure if this is an “eggy” custard or not. I don’t think so, especially because there are so many cherries in it and there’s the addition of the flour. I liked it and I hope you do too if you give it a try.

  • Javelin Warrior

    On Fridays, I share my favorite food finds in a series called Food Fetish Friday – and I love this post so I’m featuring it as part of today’s roundup (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and I’m happy to be following along with your creations…

  • Mary @ Fit and Fed

    Nice. You used the same amount of sugar I did, and even more eggs. I like a dessert that is not overly sweet. Next time I should try it with Kirsch like yours, I’ve only made it with Amaretto. I like the way your clafouti turned out nice and thick in the cast iron pan, much prettier than mine in a big rectangular baking dish. If only I had the wrist strength for the cast iron. I look forward to poking around more on your blog.

  • Ruth M

    Just found your blog looking for brining a chicken! I wanted to say that soy milk (yuck) may work, but rice milk is much better. I can’t eat dairy anymore so I’ve tried and tested using rice milk plain or vanilla in baked goods. I’ve never had a problem, and with enough eggs anything will come together…ps the best inho, is the rice milk at Whole Foods. it’s actually made in France. The soy is pretty good as well/ both come in regular, unsweetened, plain or vanilla. Can’t wait to try the Caflouti!

  • Rose Marie Klotz

    The more I read your website, the more I think you should write a book. Reading your anecdotes along with the recipes make it so much more fun than just reading recipes. You have a very enthusiastic and convivial writing style that is both motivating and enjoyable. On the chance that you had written a book, I checked Amazon for your name, but didn’t see anything.

    • formerchef

      Rose Marie-
      Thank you so much for the nice comments. While no, I’ve never written a cookbook, I was actually recently approached by a publisher to do a book, but in the end I declined the deal because frankly, it wasn’t a very good one. Hopefully some day! Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

  • Michelle

    What type of milk do you recommend for this recipe? Whole or 2%? 1% I’ve been following your site for about two years and everything I’ve made here has been delicious!! I made a clafoutis once in the past but wasn’t happy with the texture (a bit too flan-y) and your recipe and pictures have inspired me to try again!
    Thanks 🙂

    • formerchef

      Hi Michelle- Glad you enjoy the site! I typically buy 1% so my guess is that’s what I used, though I doubt the results would vary much regardless. I would asssume that whole milk would be “richer” but I don’t know by how much.

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