Clafoutis That Will Impress Your Whole Family

A classic French dessert is clafoutis (pronounced klah-foo-TEE), a baked confection that's a cross between a cake and a custard. The Sunday Baker, Mark Beahm, shares with us a traditional recipe that's incredibly easy to make and will impress your family and friends. 

"Clafoutis is a simple, rustic dish," Beahm told us. "It's very versatile and can be made with all kinds of fruits and berries." Clafoutis originates from Limousin, a south-central region in France, and although it's not clear when or by whom the first clafoutis was created, its popularity spread throughout France and Europe in the 19th century. Clafoutis resembles a souffle, but it's much less complicated and takes only 15 minutes to prepare. 

In Beahm's simple recipe, you toss some pitted cherries in a baking dish, and pour a pancake-like batter over them. When baked, the edges puff up and turn golden, and the cherries are surrounded by a luscious custard — voila. So if you can make a pancake, believe it or not, you can also make a clafoutis. 

Gather together the ingredients for the clafoutis that will impress your whole family

Clafoutis starts out with a simple batter, and you'll have all of the ingredients at hand. French chefs insist that a clafoutis must only be made with dark, sweet cherries. "You could try blueberries or other berries," Beahm said, "as well as sliced peaches or plums. But when it's made with other fruit, it's technically called a flaugnarde." It's literally the same thing, but the French are very particular and protective of their beloved clafoutis. 

Another oddity is that French chefs don't pit the cherries because they claim the pits add flavor to the clafoutis. Beahm enlightened us that cherry pits contain an organic compound that has the aroma and flavor of almonds. "I prefer to pit the cherries for safety," he told us. "Nobody enjoys biting into a cherry pit." Beahm's recipe calls for a pound of fresh cherries, and although pitting them is the pits, it's the only labor you'll have in making a clafoutis.

Sift together dry ingredients, then make a well for the eggs

Once you've pitted the cherries, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously butter a 6-cup baking dish with softened butter. Make sure to coat the bottom and sides of the baking dish so the clafoutis will slide right out when you're serving. Whisk or sift the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Don't skip this step because you'll wind up with unappetizing uncooked flour bits in the dessert. Make a well in the center of the flour that will be wide enough to hold the three unbeaten eggs.

Whisk eggs and milk to make the batter for the clafoutis

Now beat the eggs with a whisk, gradually pulling in the flour from the edge of the well. By whisking the flour in a little bit at a time, you'll prevent lumps from forming in the batter. Once you've incorporated the eggs and flour, keep whisking until the mixture is smooth. Pour in a splash of the 1-1/4 cups of whole milk, and start whisking. As you continue to slowly add the milk, keep whisking continuously to ensure you'll have a smooth batter. "You can put a damp tea towel under the bowl," Beahm said, "to stabilize it so your hands are free." When the milk is fully incorporated, add the vanilla extract. If you want to try to replicate the almond flavor of the cherry pits, he suggests adding 1/8 teaspoon of almond extract at this point as well.

Pour the batter over the cherries, and bake the clafoutis

If you want the batter to be extra smooth, pour it through a fine mesh strainer. Scatter the pitted cherries in the bottom of the buttered baking dish. There are probably French chefs who place the cherries one at a time, all perfectly spaced. But you can be a little haphazard here; it won't affect how the clafoutis bakes. Pour the batter evenly over the cherries, making sure they're completed covered. As the clafoutis bakes, the batter will puff up around and in between the cherries. Now, pop the baking dish into the preheated oven.

Bake the clafoutis, slice, and serve

Depending on the size and shape of your baking dish, the clafoutis should be done in 35-40 minutes. When the clafoutis is risen and golden, take the baking dish out of the oven, and let the clafoutis cool. You'll be dusting it with powdered sugar, and the hot clafoutis will absorb the sugar and ruin the presentation. Wait until the clafoutis is slightly warm or, even, room temperature, then dust the top with the powdered sugar. 

Cut the clafoutis in the baking dish, and serve individual slices. The interior will have a custard-and-cake consistency, and the juicy cherries will burst when you bite into them. Once you've made a clafoutis with cherries, use the same recipe with other fruits or combinations. Don't worry, there won't be a French chef scolding you for making a clafoutis that isn't "authentic." Clafoutis will keep refrigerated for around three days and is truly an elegant dessert that will impress your friends and family.

Clafoutis That Will Impress Your Whole Family
4.9 from 21 ratings
Clafoutis is a classic French baked dish that's a member of the souffle family. It looks fancy, sounds fancy, but thankfully, is relatively easy to make.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
35
minutes
Servings
8
slices
clafoutis recipe
Ready in 50 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound fresh cherries, pitted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-¼ cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • butter for baking dish
  • powdered sugar
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 6-cup baking dish.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Make a well in the flour mixture, and add the eggs into the center of the well. Beat the eggs with a whisk, gradually drawing flour from the inside walls of the well. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Whisk in the milk, a splash at a time, waiting until fully incorporated before adding more.
  5. Scatter the pitted cherries in the buttered baking dish. Pour the batter evenly over the cherries.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until risen and the edges and golden.
  7. Remove the clafoutis from the oven and let it cool before slicing. Dust the top of the clafoutis with powdered sugar, and serve in slices slightly warm or room temperature.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 213
Total Fat 4.9 g
Saturated Fat 2.3 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 77.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 37.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Total Sugars 23.5 g
Sodium 80.1 mg
Protein 5.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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