Clafoutis

Cherry Vanilla Clafoutis Recipe

My favorite dessert this time of year–and amongst my favorites any time of the year–is Clafoutis (pronounced klah-foo-tee). Hailing from central France, it’s made with black cherries embraced in an eggy batter that bakes up like a dense, rich flan in the middle, and a cake around the edges.

With cherry season in full swing, they’ve finally fallen in price enough that I can afford to buy more than a handful to munch on. When I saw them on sale the other day, I jumped at the chance to make my first clafoutis of the year. I’ve established before that cherries and vanilla go together like peanut butter and jelly, but to really kick this dish to the next level, I like using Tahitian vanilla beans.

Unlike vanilla from Madagascar, Tahitian beans are broad beauties with a bolder flavor to match. Just half a bean’s worth of seeds scraped into the custard will give it an intense vanilla flavor that compliments the sweet, tart cherries with its warm floral perfume.

Clafoutis Recipe

Clafoutis is impressive enough to serve to last minute dinner guests and yet it’s low-effort enough to make for yourself when a craving for something sweet hits. It’s fantastic straight out of the oven, but letting it cool to room temperature firms up the custard and allows the flavors to meld, providing an entirely different experience. In the unlikely event you have leftovers, you can store it in the refrigerator, but it tends to get tough, so pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it up a bit before you eat it.

As summer progresses into fall, you can make clafoutis with any tart fruit that’s in season, like plums, blackberries, cranberries and apples. I’ve even been known to make a savory one every now and then.

Equipment you'll need:

Clafoutis
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Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Rate this recipe!
Clafoutis is one of the simplest French desserts and yet its elegant and delicious. Somewhere between a cake and a flan, the black cherries provide juicy bursts of fruit between the rich bites of tahitian vanilla spiked custard.
Clafoutis
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Clafoutis is one of the simplest French desserts and yet its elegant and delicious. Somewhere between a cake and a flan, the black cherries provide juicy bursts of fruit between the rich bites of tahitian vanilla spiked custard.
Servings Prep Time
slices 5minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Servings Prep Time
slices 5minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon butter - cultured unsalted
  • 200 grams cherries (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk - whole
  • 50 grams sugar - granulated (about 1/4 cup)
  • 31 grams flour - all-purpose (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 Tahitian vanilla bean
Units:
Instructions
  1. Move your oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Generously butter an 7" tart dish and then arrange the pitted cherries in an evenly spaced fashion.
  3. Add the eggs, cream, milk, sugar and flour to a blender or small food processor and then scrape the vanilla beans into it as well. Blend until smooth and free of lumps.
  4. Slowly pour the mixture over the cherries, being careful not to clump the cherries together.
  5. Place on a baking sheet and bake until puffy and golden brown (about 25-30 minutes).
  6. Slice and serve hot or at room temperature dusted with powdered sugar.
Categories
  • Chloe

    WOW, you pit your cherries ?! And not even a speech about how you know it’s not the best traditional way but dang you like it best this way ? I’m kinda heartbroken

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Sorry to disappoint Chloe, I know it gives an almond flavor and that it’s the traditional method, but there’s two issues. The first is that the almond flavor in the pit comes from amygdalin, a glycoside that the body metabolizes ad hydrogen cyanide (a nasty toxin). The second issue is that eating a lovely clafoutis and then biting into hard pit is not fun. You’re welcome to leave your pits in, but it’s not for me.— Sent from Mailbox

      • Chloe

        I knew I could always have faith in you. Above all I was surprised you weren’t talking about it in your recipe since it’s a big debate even here in France

  • http://www.friv2gaming.com/ Friv 2

    That cake was delicious and I want to enjoy it

  • Renee Goerger

    Thanks for showing how to pit cherries with a paperclip! Brilliant and very helpful!
    Renee – Kudos Kitchen

  • Meghan B.

    What a genius tip to pit cherries! Love this cake, can’t wait to try the recipe!

  • Dan

    I haven’t had any luck finding Tahitian vanilla beans, could I substitute extract and if so, how much? Thanks!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Dan, you could substitute a whole Madagascar vanilla bean, or vanilla extract (how much you add is up to you, but anywhere from 1/2 a teaspoon to 2 teaspoons should be fine).

  • Abdulla Q.

    Thanks for the recipe, but it didnt turn out as good as I hoped. I added 2 tsp of vanilla extract instead of the bean. I didnt get the vanilla flavor nor were the cherries that tasty. It seemed like the cherries lacked taste, which I thought was weird, are we supposed to use overripe cherries?

    What are your thoughts?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Abdulla, there’s a reason why I specified Tahitian vanilla beans. They have a very potent fragrance you just can’t get from regular vanilla beans, or vanilla extract. As for the cherries, putting them in the clafoutis isn’t going to make them taste better, so if you start with bland cherries, they’re still going to taste bland in the clafoutis.— Sent from Mailbox

      • Abdulla Q.

        Thanks! I just placed an order for some Tahitian beans.

        If you dont mind me asking here, are you aware of any negatives or point to keep in mind when cooking with Lactose Free milk instead of regular milk?

        I only ask because I was reading your comments about using sweetened coconuts for deep frying and how that has bad taste reaction.

        Btw, great site! Love your recipes.

        • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

          Hi Abdulla, once you’ve tried Tahitian vanilla, it’s going to be hard to back :-) as for lactose free milk, there shouldn’t be any differences a a far as I’m aware, but using while vs low fat will make a difference in taste (whole is more rich and creamy). The main issue with using sweetened coconut for frying is that the sugar will burn before the coconut has a chance to get crisp. Hope that helps.— Sent from Mailbox

  • J. Andrews

    Thanks for another great recipe Marc. I had to double the size of the recipe as my baking dish is 9 3/4″ diameter and was really please by the results.

    As others stated, I couldn’t find Tahitian beans (yet) but the Madagascar worked nicely. Your site is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.

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