Cherry Clafoutis is a sweet, creamy dish you can serve for breakfast or dessert. Easily adapt it for any seasonal fruit!
Today, we are going to expand your culinary horizons, and give you a traditional French dish, the cherry clafoutis! It’s sort of like a custard tart with fruit, but the important part is that it’s a legitimate excuse to effectively eat cherry pie for breakfast. And can we just take a moment to appreciate how fun it is just to say “clafoutis”? It sounds like something the Muppet’s Swedish Chef would bake: “Yur puurt thuur chiir-ken in da pot and herda-doudey-clafoutis!”
For this iteration, we went with cherries, as I’m told this is most traditional fruit to be used, but the recipe can easily be modified for use with other fruit. I think this would make an excellent brunch dish, because while the baking takes a little while, the prep is very simple, and it’s designed to be eaten at room temperature or cooled, so you don’t have to worry about timing as much. It’ll also make your house smell of baking fruit and sugar.
If you are using cherries, you have some options to consider. Some prefer to leave the pits in the cherries, stating that they help impart some almond-like notes to the dish. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want in my food is a bunch of teeth-cracking organic BBs. If you want almond notes, I’d still pit the cherries and just add a little almond extract.
As for how to pit all the cherries, I’ve seen recommendations about using chopsticks to push the seed out, or using a fluted piping tip to core the cherries, but I found it easiest to just use brute force and rip the cherry in half with my hands before discarding the pit. Or you can get pre-pitted frozen cherries, in which case, let them thaw and drain thoroughly before you use them.
I made the batter in our food processor, but you can certainly make this in a bowl or probably even a blender. I’m just lazy and prefer to have a machine do the heavy lifting for me. A clever step from the original recipe was to melt the butter in the pan you use to make the clafoutis. You avoid an extra dirty dish, and you’ve already got to butter the pan anyway. Just keep an eye on it to make sure you don’t let the butter burn.
After you’ve mixed the batter and the fruit together, you pour the whole thing into you pan and add a few pieces of butter to the top. Is this optional? Yes. But why would you skip the chance to add more butter to anything? You don’t have to use a lot, but a few pieces spread around will give you a richer flavor as well as assisting browning.
The hardest part of this recipe is figuring out when it’s done. I’m afraid this might take a little trial and error. It’s supposed to have a barely-set custard-like consistency when done, so a tester is useless because it should come up sticky every time. Your best visual indication is when the top is nicely browned, and if you rotate the pan back and forth, the edges should be pretty well set, while still jiggling in the middle. At that point, remove from the oven and sprinkle with sugar (bonus points if you use vanilla sugar, which you can make by storing a vanilla bean in an airtight container with regular sugar for a week or two).
Let it cool on the counter until just barely warm (or cooler), sprinkle with powdered sugar (another bonus point if you vanilla-ize this – ize, ize, baby, da-dum-da-da-da-da-dum – sorry…), cut and serve. Now go off and impress your family and friends with your mad French cooking skills.
Recipe adapted from Marmiton
- 24 oz of ripe cherries
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 5 tablespoons of flour
- 5 tablespoons vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar) +more for sprinkling
- 8 oz milk
- 2 oz butter+more for top
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon of extract of vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- powdered sugar for garnish
- Wash and pit the cherries. If using frozen, thaw and let drain.
- Pre-heat over to 395 degrees.
- Place the butter in a pie pan, and place in the oven to melt. Do not let the butter burn.
- Beat the eggs and egg yolks thoroughly with the sugar and a pinch of salt (you can also use a food processor).
- Add the vanilla and the flour, and mix until thick and creamy.
- Once the butter has melted, use a brush or paper towel to grease the pie pan. Pour the excess butter into the batter along with the milk and stir well.
- Add the cherries to the batter, and pour into the hot pie pan. Add additional tabs of butter to the top if desired.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is well browned. The interior should still have a custard like consistency.
- Remove from oven, and sprinkle with vanilla sugar.
- Serve lukewarm or cool (it will not be set enough to serve it hot), and garnished with powdered sugar.
More dessert? We agree! How about a super moist carrot cake with cream cheese frosting?