With a thick custard like filling a cherry clafoutis is a quick and easy way to enjoy fresh cherries or blueberries. Simple enough for breakfast or for an elegant dessert.
There is nothing more comforting than a simple thick custard surrounding sweet cherries, it’s why a simple French cherry clafoutis is so popular. It’s also one of those desserts you can whip together in no time with minimal ingredients.
This was inspired after Mike tried a blueberry clafoutis at one of our favorite restaurants, Marisols, and I was in love with the texture and flavors. I started searching for recipes and mostly found cherry ones. So when we started getting fresh cherries, I started experimenting. It was so easy to make that I wasn’t sure it would be as good as what we had at Marisols but I think we came pretty close.
I’ve made this with both cherries and blueberries and they are both great choices, you can also use frozen fruit if fresh is not an option.
What is a clafoutis
A Clafoutis is a French dessert that while rich and creamy, is surprisingly simple to make. The texture is much firmer than a creme brûlée so it can hold the fruit. Like a creme brûlée, it’s not overly sweet, the sweetness comes from the fruit itself. It’s not very pretty, so dust it with some powdered sugar for a better presentation and a bit of sweetness.
It’s traditionally made with whole cherries, but seriously, I can’t see eating a desert and having to spit out cherry pits.
What you’ll need for a simple French clafoutis
- Fresh cherries – these need to be pitted and cut in half. You can also use frozen cherries, just thaw and drain the juice first.
- Slivered almonds – these line the bottom of the baking dish and give it a nice little crunch.
- Half-and-Half – to get a creamy custard you need some fat. You can increase it and use heavy cream or you can use whole milk, anything less and you will not achieve the creamy custard.
- Sugar – both granulated and powdered. You can adjust the amount by a quarter of a cup if you prefer it less sweet. It’s not overly sweet to begin with so I would suggest trying it with the amount called for. If it’s too sweet for you then skip the powdered sugar on top
- Eggs, flour and vanilla
How do you make a cherry clafoutis
Step 1: Place slivered almonds in the bottom of a casserole dish or glass pie pan.
Step 2: Pit cherries, cut them in half and place over the almonds.
Step 3: Whisk together eggs and sugar, add flour and whisk then add half-and-half and vanilla and whisk until it’s smooth. Pour over cherries and bake for about 30 minutes until it’s lightly brown and the custard is set.
It should come close to the top, but should have some room to expand.
Step 4: Remove from oven and let cool until just warm, then sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
The texture of the custard is thick and almost rubbery.
This is a dessert you can throw together in no time and it’s pretty hard to mess up. You can also use frozen fruit if you can’t get fresh. You can put it in individual ramekins, just cut the time a little. If you have any left-overs, this is great cold though I prefer mine warm or room temperature.
The only thing hard about this dessert is pronouncing it. I put the emphasis on the last syllable, kla-foo-TEE.
FAQ’s and tips
Place the cherry over a wine bottle and use a chopstick to push the pit into the bottle. Another option is to use a metal straw to push out the pit.
Yes, cherries maintain their sweetness when frozen. Thaw first and drain the juice before adding to the dish.
It’s great for brunch or a holiday breakfast, I like to cut the sugar a bit if serving for breakfast but it’s not overly sweet to start with.
It is pronounced kla-foo-TEE, with the accent on the TEE.
More wonderful cherry recipes
- 2 cups fresh cherries pitted and halved, or blueberries.
- 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ cup flour
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350º. Butter a large pie pan or an 8 x 8 inch casserole dish.
- Whisk together eggs and sugars. Add salt and flour and whisk until smooth. Add half-and-half and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
- Sprinkle almond slices over the bottom of the pie dish. Place cherries on top and pour the egg mixture over the cherries.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned and the custard is set, it can be slightly jiggly in the middle. Let cool on wire rack before serving. Can dust with powdered sugar if desired.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Don’t use low fat milk in this recipe.
- If using frozen cherries, let thaw and drain the juice before adding.
- Don’t have a cherry pitter, you can put a cherry over a wine bottle and push the seed into the bottle with a chopstick.
- You can also make this in an iron skillet but will need to decrease the time.