Cherry Clafoutis, a French Summer Delight

cherry clafoutis one slice

Clafoutis is a rustic French dessert that can best be described as a baked custardy fruit pancake. This dish originated in the Limousin region of central France, which is renowned for its cherries. The word clafoutis comes from the provincial dialect word clafir, which means “to fill.” Early summer cherries are classic in clafoutis, but this satisfying dessert can be made with various fruits. During fall and winter, the pear-raspberry variation (see below) is a delicious option. 

Yield: 8 servings

 

Special equipment:

  • Cherry pitter
  • Pie pan or gratin dish
  • Food processor, blender or immersion blender

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons, plus 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 pound (3 cups) sweet cherries, rinsed, patted dry, stemmed and pitted (see “Equipment Tip” below)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon kirsch or 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting 

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9- or 9 1/2-inch pie pan or gratin dish (6-cup capacity) with cooking spray or brush with oil or softened butter. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar; tilt to coat. Spread cherries in prepared pan.

2. Place 1/2 cup sugar, flour, eggs, milk, butter, kirsch (or almond extract) and vanilla in a food processor, blender or a bowl, if using an immersion blender; process until smooth. 

3. Pour the egg batter over the cherries. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. 

Bake the clafoutis until puffed, starting to brown around the edges, and firm to the touch, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool slightly. (Clafoutis will sink as it cools.) Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm or at room temperature. (Leftovers are also delicious chilled—delightful for breakfast the following day.)

Per serving (1/8th of the clafoutis): 190 calories, 4 g total fat, (2 g saturated fat), 5 g protein, 33 g carbohydrate, 75 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 25 g sugars (16 g added sugars), 74 mg calcium.

 

VARIATION: Pear-Raspberry Clafoutis

Replace cherries with 2 ripe but firm Anjou pears and 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries. Peel pears and cut in half vertically. Remove cores and slice pear halves. In Step 1, arrange sliced pears in prepared pie pan. Scatter raspberries over top. In Step 3. Pour the egg batter over top, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and bake as directed.

Per serving (1/8th of the clafoutis): 190 calories, 4 g total fat, (2 g saturated fat), 5 g protein,  34 g carbohydrate, 75 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 23 g sugars (16 added sugars), 79 mg calcium. 

Equipment Tip:

You can find cherry pitters in kitchenware stores; a new hairpin also works.  In some traditional French recipes, the cherries are not pitted. It is believed that the pits contribute flavor. However, it is much easier and, in my opinion, more enjoyable to eat clafoutis when you don’t have to worry about cherry pits.

–Patsy Jamieson

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