Cherry Clafoutis (quick and easy)
Delicious and easy to make, cherry clafoutis is a traditional French dessert that takes only 5 minutes to prepare and less than an hour to bake. The tart cherries complement the creamy batter flavored with almond extract. It’s a subtly sweet dish you will surely love!
Have you ever had a cherry clafoutis? Or, as the French say, “clafoutis aux cerises.” Recently I tried Julia Child’s recipe for the first time and it was DELICIOUS. I’ve been on a bit of cherry kick recently and I love how well the fruit pairs with almond extract (just try my cherry muffins). My adapted clafoutis recipe has that same flavor combo, but with a rustic appearance and fuss-free preparation.
What is a Clafoutis?
Clafoutis (pronounced “klah-foo-tee”) is an easy French tart made with fresh cherries and a pancake-like batter. Its texture is halfway between a flan and a cake. The golden brown crust envelopes the slightly creamy and subtly sweet center. The fruit adds a kick of naturally tart flavor.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Super easy to make. Just make the batter and pour it over the fruit in a baking dish. In less than an hour it’s ready to serve!
- Flavorful. The cherries are sweet and tart while the batter is creamy and rich. A touch of almond extract complements the dish well!
- Satisfying. I can’t begin to describe how satisfying this dish is. Something about the burst of cherries with the silky smooth batter and crunchy almonds leaves the tastebuds wanting more!
- Versatile. Traditionally clafoutis uses cherries, but other fruits work here too! Check out the recipe variations for ideas.
- Great dish for entertaining. Because it’s so easy to make, this tart is perfect for serving guests at a dinner party or small gathering.
- Cherries: Use fresh black cherries or sour ones with the stems and pits removed. If you have extra, try my cherry scones!
- Almonds: Slivered almonds are added for a little texture in each bite. You can also coarsely chop whole almonds or blend them with the batter.
- Eggs: Use large eggs at room temperature. This will help bind the ingredients and make a flavorful dessert.
- Flour: Use all purpose flour for this recipe. I have not tested self-raising flour or cake flour so I do not recommend it.
- Milk: Whole milk is best for this dessert. It makes for a richer flavor and moister texture.
- Almond extract: To highlight the almond flavor, use 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. A little goes a long way!
For ingredient details and measurements, refer to the recipe card.
Try another fruit. Generally stone fruits work best. Apricots, plums and peaches are a few examples. However, you can also use pears, apples or berries in this recipe. Aim for about 3 cups of fruit chopped into 2 inch pieces.
Use different nuts. Almonds are my personal favorite, but you can also use walnuts or pecans, like I do in my Nantucket pie. If you don’t like the added crunch, you can blend the nuts with the batter or omit them from the recipe.
Add some kirsch. This cherry liquor may be used in place of the vanilla and almond extract. Add 2 Tablespoons and use the rest of the kirsch to make black forest cake.
Double the recipe. If you’re serving a crowd, double the recipe and bake it in a 4-quart baking dish. Baking time will be about the same, maybe 5 minutes longer.
What to serve with clafoutis: Traditionally, just a dusting of powdered sugar will do, but a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream would also taste delicious.
How to Make Cherry Clafoutis
- Prepare fruit layer. Preheat oven to 375 F. Place butter in the baking dish and put it in the oven. Once the butter is melted, remove the dish from the oven. Spread cherries and almonds over the bottom of the pan.
- Make the batter. In a blender, add the sugar, flour, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt. Blend on high until frothy, about 1 minute.
- Assemble. Pour batter over the cherries. Sprinkle remaining sugar over the batter.
- Bake clafoutis at 375 F for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before dusting with confectioners’ sugar and serving.
Remember to remove the stems and pits from the cherries. You can either use a cherry pitter or cut the cherries in half to remove the pit.
Use room temperature ingredients. This makes a consistently smooth batter, which is crucial for the flan-like texture clafoutis is known for. It also helps to weigh your ingredients with a scale for accurate measurements.
Get the right batter consistency. You want the batter to be light and frothy. Usually a blender or food processor achieves this best in just 1 minute, but you can also whisk the batter by hand.
Don’t over-bake. This is crucial to achieving the light and creamy texture. The crust will be golden and a toothpick will have no crumbs when inserted in the center.
Storage: Clafoutis is best when eaten the day it is baked. However, it will keep for up to 3 days if covered and stored in the refrigerator.
Reheat: Cover a slice (or the whole dish) with aluminum foil and reheat at 325 F for 10 minutes or until heated through.
Freezing: Clafoutis does not freeze well. Due to the custard-like texture and pieces of fruit, it will become mushy as it defrosts.
Yes, let the cherries defrost and discard the juices before using the fruit in the recipe. Drain the juices if you use canned. Keep in mind fresh cherries tend to have more flavor than frozen so opt for fresh when possible.
Typically clafoutis is served slightly warm with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar or dollop of cream. However, it is not unusual to enjoy the dessert at room temperature or even chilled, which is particularly refreshing on a hot summer day.
Most likely it was over-baked or your oven is too hot. Use an oven thermometer to check the accuracy of your oven temperature.
The best indicator is a golden top. You can also insert a toothpick in the center where there are no cherries. If it comes out clean, then the dish is done baking.
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Get the Recipe: Cherry Clafoutis (quick and easy)
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound (about 3 cups) fresh black cherries, stemmed and pitted
- ½ cup (54 g or 2 oz) slivered almonds
- ⅓ cup plus 2 Tablespoons (66 g + 25 g) granulated sugar, separated
- ½ cup (62 g) all purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cup (300 ml) whole milk, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Pinch of salt
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Place butter in a 2 quart baking dish and put it in the oven for a few minutes while it's preheating.
- Once the butter is melted, remove the pan from the oven and arrange cherries in single layer. Sprinkle the almonds over the cherries.
- In a blender, combine the 1/3 cup granulated sugar, flour, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt. Blend on high until smooth and frothy, about 1 minute.
- Pour batter over the cherries and sprinkle remaining 2 Tablespoons sugar on top. Sprinkle from high above so there are no concentrated spots of sugar.
- Bake at 375° F for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. use a toothpick inserted into the center to make sure it's done. The toothpick should come out clean.
- Let the clafoutis cool for 10 to 15 minutes (the center might sink slightly). Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve warm.