Clafoutis (kla-fu-t). It’s a french dessert that’s a cross between a custard and a cake studded with ripe fruit.
You know the aroma of a freshly baked waffle cone? That smell somehow reminds me of the flavor of this cake. It’s sweet and sour in parts with surrounding flavor affinities of egg, Grand Marnier, and vanilla.
I hardly have to tell you that the cherries are the best part. Cherries are having their moment right now (July). The other day, my husband brought home a bag of cherries, so I grabbed one and popped it in my mouth.
No clue cherries could do this but… they were so flavorful that they gave me goosebumps. I’ve never tasted cherries like this before. It has to be the absolute exact peak for buying/eating cherries this season, and I would hate for you to miss out.
So, why bake them at all? I now know that it’s hard to finish two pounds of cherries before they go bad. Lucky for me (and you), there’s an incredibly simple batter that bakes in no time at all.
Basics of Clafoutis
A clafoutis batter is no more complicated than pancake batter. I can honestly say, the hardest part was breaking up the flour lumps with my spatula during the first round of testing. Lesson learned – sift the flour and you won’t have this problem at all.
By the way, I don’t have a pit removing gadget. Removing the cherry pits took less than 5 minutes.
Note to self (and the entire internet): the pits may be traditional, but you won’t care if you break a tooth…just sayin
In case you want to ignore my advice, you can leave the pits in the cherries. The origin story is that the cherry pits were used as a way to impart almond flavor. Of course, I tested this theory before dismissing it outright entirely.
Baking Clafoutis: with or without pits?
To pit or not to pit? I absolutely could not detect a strong flavor difference between clafoutis with or without pits. If there was a subtle difference, I couldn’t easily pick it out. Considering this, I will be taking the pits out from now on.
The sky is the limit with clafoutis! If it’s a seasonal fruit, go for it. Raspberries or apricots are my favorite variation. While I love it by itself, it’s also really lovely with a scoop of ice cream or cool whipped cream.
If this is your first time trying this French dessert, I hope you find the texture enjoyable. It reminds me a little bit of bread pudding or denser flan. Feel free to share any impressions below.
In case you’re looking for more berry inspiration, check out this berries and whipped cream with orange liqueur recipe.
- 1 pound sweet black cherries (3 large handfuls), de-stemmed, pitted or not
- unsalted butter, for rubbing
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, or substitute 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tbsp Grand Marnier, orange liqueur (or brandy)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, or almond flour to keep it gluten free
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Smear a baking dish with a generous coating of butter. For the best flavor and texture, use a dish that is about 2" deep. Set the cherries in the dish.
- Crack the eggs into a medium bowl. Add sugars and use an immersion blender on medium speed to froth the eggs for 1 minute – lift up and down a bit until very bubbly.
- Add milk, Grand Marnier, vanilla, and salt.
- Set a strainer over the bowl and add the flour. Sift bits of flour at a time as you whisk to incorporate. This method prevents lumps from forming in your batter.
- Pour the batter over the cherries so that just a tiny peak of the cherries are visible. Bake for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 350°F and continue baking until the top swells and you begin to see a golden color, 25 minutes (more or less depending on the size of the dish). Poke with a fork or toothpick. If it comes out clean, then the clafoutis center is done.
- Transfer to a cooling rack for 10 minutes. It will sink a bit. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm with ice cream.
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