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French Clafoutis - Baked Cherry Custard Dessert

  • Breakfast
  • Picnics
  • Teatime (Goûter)
  • Desserts
  • Summer
  • Low Gluten
  • Vegetarian
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French Clafoutis is a fruity speciality from the Limousin region, traditionally made with cherries. It’s a popular family dish that all French home cooks have up their sleeve.

baked cherry custard dessert - French clafoutis


It’s also one of my French Mother-in-law’s specialities and one of my husband’s best loved classic desserts. If we’re lucky enough to visit Antoine’s parents in Provence in the early summer, Madeleine proudly rustles up her cherry baked custard dessert with burlat cherries. Freshly plucked from the neighbour’s orchard with his permission, of course.

French Clafoutis – Pitted Cherries or Leave Whole?

So many clafoutis recipes call for pitted cherries. Like it’s traditionally made in the Limousin, Madeleine normally throws in the whole cherries as they are and most of us politely dispose of the stones at the table. I say most of us, as Antoine – in his more natural Corsican style – rocks on the back of his chair, plotting his target as he catapults and projects them less than delicately into the garden – “Heh, je plante!“, he shrugs at us all.  It’s his Corsican sense of humour of saying he’s planting cherry trees. Oh, pl-ease!

I may mock but whole, unpitted cherries do keep in their flavour better, and it’s far quicker than standing over the kitchen table with dark cherry-stained hands looking like Jack (or Jill) the Ripper. So just throw them in as they are naturally then get the family to do the gardening at the table. Otherwise pit them if you prefer, especially if you have a cherry stone extractor as part of your kitchen gadgetry.

Gluten Free Cherry Clafoutis Recipe

This recipe uses a little flour but to make a gluten free version, replace with half the amount of cornflour or cornstarch (Maizena in France).
See my other gluten free Clafoutis batter recipe made with ground almonds on video. It’s  so versatile using other fresh summer fruits too!

French clafoutis easy recipe

FRENCH CLAFOUTIS (Cherry Baked Custard) RECIPE

Pouring French clafoutis batter on to cherries

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (gas 4). Butter an ovenproof china or pyrex dish (22cm diameter and 5cm deep) large enough to hold the cherries in a single layer.  Sprinkle in the sugar, shaking it all around so that it coats the surface of the dish and place the cherries in it.

2. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl.  Add the eggs and yolk and, using a balloon whisk, mix well until the mixture is smooth.  Continue whisking adding the milk, almond extract and melted butter. Pour over the cherries.

French clafoutis before baking

3. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until browned. Toast the flaked almonds in a non-stick frying pan for a few minutes on medium heat until they’re golden and sprinkle on the Clafoutis with a dusting of icing/confectioner’s sugar.

French Clafoutis Cherry custard dessert

Serve warm (not hot) or chilled directly from the dish.

Asparagus Clafoutis

Savoury Clafoutis Recipe

Have you tried this savoury asparagus clafoutis yet? It’s a delicious light and summery supper dish with parmesan sauce.

French clafoutis baked cherry custard dessert

baked cherry clafoutis dessert
5 from 2 votes

French Classic Cherry Clafoutis

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course : Dessert, Party Food, Picnics
Cuisine : French
Keyword : cherry desserts, baking with cherries, easy french dessert recipe
Servings : 6 people
Calories : 265kcal

Description

An easy French Clafoutis classic family dessert - Baked cherry custard, a speciality from the Limousin region with added almonds. Replace the flour with half the amount of cornflour/cornstarch for a gluten free version.

Ingredients

For the ovenproof dish:

  • 10 g (1 tbsp) butter
  • 10 g (1 tbsp) sugar

Clafoutis batter:

  • 500 g (18oz) fresh black cherries washed, not pitted
  • 70 g (2.5oz) plain flour (all-purpose)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • good pinch salt (fleur de sel)
  • 3 eggs organic
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 75 g (3oz) sugar
  • 225 ml (8fl oz) full-cream milk
  • 3 drops almond extract or 1 Tbsp Kirsch/Amaretto liqueur
  • 1 tbsp slivered almonds to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F (gas 6). Butter an ovenproof china or pyrex dish (22cm diameter and 5cm deep) large enough to hold the cherries in a single layer.  Sprinkle in the sugar, shaking it all around so that it coats the surface of the dish and place the cherries in it.
  • Combine the flour (or cornflour), salt, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl.  Using a balloon whisk, mix in the eggs and yolk until the mixture is smooth.  Continue whisking adding the milk, almond extract or Kirsch. Pour over the cherries then sprinkle over the almonds.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until browned.

Notes

Serve warm directly from the dish or chilled with a light dusting of icing/confectioner's sugar.
This dish is also delicious made with small fresh mirabelle plums when cherries are no longer in season.

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Reviews (16)

This looks amazing and easy to make; I can’t wait to try it.

Great news – it’s not only delicious but great with all different summer fruits, plus savoury too!


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