Cherry Clafoutis: A French Custard Tart

cherry clafoutis - french custard tart

I had never heard of clafoutis before the Frenchman. French desserts are abundant in the U.S. but for some reason clafoutis is not typically sold in bakeries here. Perhaps because it is fairly easy to make? And I have to say, I was surprised at how easy it was. Besides the cherries, we had every other ingredient already in our pantry.

cherries for cherry clafoutis recipe

Clafoutis <klaa-foo-tee> is a baked French dessert of fruit in a buttered dish and covered with a flan-like batter. It is typically served warm or at room temperature. Traditionally it is made with cherries, but you can make clafoutis with almost any fruit. Most recently we enjoyed clafoutis made by my mother-in-law with mirabelle plums… which was quite heavenly.

My first memory of clafoutis is during one of our trips to France. We were in Brittany and the Frenchman’s mom (aka my mother-in-law) made a cherry clafoutis as dessert for one of the long leisurely lunches enjoyed by the French. What was even better was that we had the leftovers for breakfast the next morning and it tasted better with my morning tea.

cherry pitting with chopsticks

For my first try at making clafoutis, I decided to pit the cherries for this but it’s also fine to keep the pits. Traditionally, you do not pit the cherries and this is typically how the Frenchman’s mother makes her clafoutis. I think it adds a hint of almond flavor.

Since we don’t have a cherry pitter, I used a chopstick to push the pits through, which stained my hands with the beautiful burgundy cherry juice.

pitting cherries for cherry clafoutis

cherry clafoutis batter

cherry clafoutis recipe

I love how it turned out and look forward to making it again, but perhaps next time with raspberries.

P.S. Don’t make the same mistake I did and forget to butter your tart dish. Luckily it wasn’t too difficult to remove from the pan!

Cherry Clafoutis

Adapted from Serious Eat’s Classic Cherry Clafoutis Recipe

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup whole milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp unsalted butter (melted), plus more for greasing
1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 lb cherries, pitted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together flour, sugar and salt. Whisk in milk, eggs, butter and vanilla extract until you get a smooth batter.

Grease a 9″ tart pan with butter (I forgot this part!). Pour a bit of the batter to the bottom of the pan and scatter cherries on top. Pour the rest of the batter on top. Bake 35-45 minutes until clafoutis is puffed and browned and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Remove from the oven to cool. Clafoutis can be served warm or at room temperature. You can also serve with a dusting of powdered sugar or with whipped cream.

Cherry Clafoutis: Cooking & Serving Essentials

cherry clafoutis recipe

Bon appétit!

Unless otherwise credited, all photos are by LesSoufflet.com

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