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Black Cherry Clafouti

Black Cherry Clafouti

The batter for this traditional French dessert is somewhere between that of a cake and a custard. It takes no more than 10 minutes to prepare the batter in the blender.


  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons brandy
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (12-ounce) package frozen cherries, thawed
  • Confectioners' sugar, for serving


Calories Per Serving240

Folate equivalent (total)51µg13%

Riboflavin (B2)0.3mg17.5%

Cherry Clafoutis

A clafoutis (pronounced "kla-foo-TEE") is a rustic French dessert made by baking cherries in a custard-like batter similar to the one used for pancakes.

Traditionally, a clafoutis is specifically made with black cherries, although many variations include other fruits such as plums, prunes, blueberries, or apples, though technically, these variations should be called flaungardes, not clafoutis.

Some bakers like to leave the cherry pits in the cherries when making clafoutis, but baking the clafoutis with unpitted cherries produces a much stronger cherry flavor and it also prevents the cherry juice from leaking out and coloring the batter. If you make one with pits still inside, be sure to let everyone know.

Black Cherry Clafouti

Easy, fresh, light, very country, but also very elegant, clafouti is a traditional rustic Provencal dessert somewhere between a baked custard, a light pancake and a cakey souffle. This recipe is more custardy than cakey, not too sweet, with a full, ripe cherry flavour, laced with a little Kirsch. I recommend stoning the fruit although this isn’t traditionally done, it does reduce the risk of incurred dental bills from surprised guests! Traditionally made with cherries, clafouti is also ioonderful made with apricots, berries, fresh figs, pears or even peaches or apricots, with like-flavoured liqueurs standing in for the Kirsch.

Occasion Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Dietary Consideration halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipment baking/gratin dish

Taste and Texture fruity, light, sweet, tart

Type of Dish dessert, fruit


  • 1½ pounds ripe sweet black cherries , washed and dried thoroughly if necessary
  • ¾ cup whole milk (3.5%)
  • ¾ cup heavy cream (36%)
  • 1 vanilla bean , split
  • 4 large eggs , at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup all purpose flour , sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ to 2 tablespoons Kirsch or other cherry brandy
  • Unsalted butter , at room temperature, for greasing dish
  • Confectioners sugar , for dusting over finished dessert, optional


Preheat the oven to 375°. Select a shallow, wide ceramic baking dish of about 2-quart capacity. Glass can also be used, but I have found ovenproof ceramic or glazed earthenware hold the heat much more evenly and produce an evenly baked custard. They also look quite beautiful when the clafouti is served at the table, in keeping with the rustic nature of the dessert. Generously butter the entire inside of the dish and set it aside. Pit the cherries using a little manual cherry or olive pitter. You could leave the stones in, but warn your guests! Scatter the cherries in the bottom of the buttered dish.

Combine the milk and the cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pot and add the hull. Bring this mixture just to the boil, then remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the sugar gradually and whisk until the mixture is thickened and pale, about 1 to 2 minutes. Combine the flour and salt in a small cup or bowl and sift together over the yolk and sugar mixture in three stages, whisking each addition in gently and thoroughly. You want to add just as much sifted flour as the mixture can absorb at a time without getting lumpy. When all of the flour has been smoothly incorporated, wrap a damp kitchen towel around the bottom of the bowl to hold it steady. Pour a small amount of the hot milk and cream into the batter, whisking constantly. Slowly add the rest of the hot liquid, whisking steadily and making sure the whisk covers the whole area of the bowl. (You can remove the vanilla bean at this point, but I like to leave it in and bake it with the custard, discarding it when the clafouti is served.) Stir in the Kirsch.

Pour the custard over the cherries (they will bob up and float on the surface of the mixture) and place the baking dish in the centre of the oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is evenly puffed and browned and the centre is just set when lightly touched. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes, then serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners sugar, if desired.

French Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry Clafoutis is a classic French recipe made with fruit, traditionally black cherries, covered with a crêpe-like batter. It is really easy to make.

This is my favorite recipe of Cherry Clafoutis, because it is light, yet flavorful. It holds a special place in my heart because I used to make it during my childhood in Metz (France).

In my recipe, I use vanilla cane sugar, which is often used in France to flavor desserts instead of vanilla extract. It is a little hard to find this in the U.S., but you can make your own. I recommend this vanilla cane sugar recipe from Alton Brown. Do not skip the vanilla sugar at the end of the recipe because this adds a unique flavor to the Cherry Clafoutis.

Some people find that keeping the cherries’ pits is not enjoyable, but personally, I prefer to not remove them because it adds more flavor to the Cherry Clafoutis. Just do not forget to warn your guests!

This summer, I also used fresh peaches to make a clafoutis. It is wonderful too! But clafoutis is so versatile that the cherries can be substituted with many other seasonal fruits .

I just couldn&rsquot resist the challenge of making clafoutis with sourdough. The part of my job I love the most is recipe development. And developing this one was tasty!

I used fully-fermented sourdough starter, pastured eggs and butter, organic maple syrup, raw milk, a little salt, a little vanilla and a full pound of organic black cherries. This is the line where health food meets pure indulgence.

What is Clafoutis?

Clafoutis is a form of French cobbler. It starts as a thick flan or pancake like batter that is poured into a hot pan and studded with fresh fruit. The batter envelopes the fruit as it cooks and puffs around the edges. It is similar to a Dutch Baby but a bit denser with a more cake like texture.

Why Sourdough?

You all know by now that I&rsquove made a commitment to eat only traditionally prepared grains and I do that because my body responds better to soaked, fermented or sprouted grains. Somewhere along the way we lost our methods for making grains healthy and body friendly. But not anymore, I&rsquom rewriting all the recipes and your body will thank you for using them.

Fermented grains are more easy to digest, they have reduced phytic acid (that acts as an anti-nutrient) and their important vitamins and minerals have been unlocked. Almost all early humans had some sort of grain in their diet but they prepared them in totally different ways then we do now. Where did we go wrong?


Softened butter: 1 tablespoon

Whole milk: 1 cup

All-purpose flour: 2/3 cup

Heavy cream: 1/4 cup

Vanilla extract: 2 teaspoons

Granulated sugar: 1/4 cup

Almond extract: 1/2 teaspoon (It is optional to use almond extract)

Salt: 1/4 teaspoon

Dark cherries: 4 cups (preferably pitted)

Confectioners’ sugar: 1 tablespoon (powdered)

Recipe Summary

  • Unsalted butter, for dish
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup creme fraiche, plus more for serving
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for dish
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces cherries, halved and pitted
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch baking dish, 1 1/4 inches deep. Coat with granulated sugar tap out excess. Whisk eggs, yolk, and flour in a medium bowl whisk in creme fraiche, milk, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt.

Arrange cherries in prepared dish. Strain batter over cherries. Bake until browned around edges and set in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly. Dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve warm with creme fraiche.

James Martin's black cherry clafoutis

Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas mark 7. Grease a 15 x 20cm rectangular ovenproof dish and layer the filo pastry sheets over the bottom of the dish. Allow the excess pastry to stand up around the edges.

Stone the cherries and sprinkle them over the filo pastry.

Whisk together the eggs, cream, sugar, milk and flour until you have a smooth batter with no lumps, then pour it over the cherries. Bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden and just set.

Allow to cool slightly, then dust with icing sugar to serve.

More Information
This is basically a sweet Yorkshire pudding with fruit in it, but as so often happens, the French claim they made it first. So as not to upset them or the Yorkshire clan, here it is: my gran&rsquos Yorkshire pudding recipe, with fruit in it and cooked the French way.

What Cherries to use?

In France, a clafoutis will traditionally be made with black cherries or the Bigarreau Cherry, a hard-fleshed pale cherry that is often used in baking and for the making or jams of candies.

When in Canada, I use tart cherries, such as Montmorency, or sweet ones like Bing Cherries as a substitute. I find the latter great to bake with, since they are very sweet, hard-fleshed and do not release much liquid when baking. Bing Cherries are one the most commonly available sweet cherry varieties in North America.

  • 1 pound tart cherries, pitted
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup evaporated nonfat milk
  • Confectioners&#8217 sugar for dusting

Place rack in upper third of oven preheat to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch glass quiche dish or other small shallow baking dish with cooking spray. Combine cherries and 1/3 cup sugar in the prepared dish. Bake until the cherries are tender and very juicy, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs, flour, vanilla and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth. Whisk in evaporated milk.

Drain the juices from the cherries into a small bowl, holding back the fruit with a metal spatula. Reserve the juices. Redistribute the cherries over the bottom of the dish and pour in the egg mixture. Bake until puffed and set, 12 to 15 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately, with the reserved cherry juices spooned over the top.