Cherry clafoutis is an easy, classic French dessert that’s part cobbler and part custard. It’s also a delicious way to use fresh summer cherries!
It’s cherry season!
In case you’re wondering, cherry season is the most wonderful season of them all!
Each summer, I do a little happy dance when the cherries begin to appear at the grocery store.
Typically, I eat most of my cherries raw as soon as I get home from the store, because I just can’t contain my excitement.
And of course, I love to use sweet cherries to make the classic French dessert cherry clafoutis.
This recipe is based on Dory Greenspan’s recipe for whole-cherry clafoutis from her book Around My French Table.
What is Clafoutis?
Clafoutis is a classic French dessert.
I like to think of it as a cross between an American-style cobbler and a custard. It’s denser than cobbler, but not quite as dense and creamy as custard.
If that doesn’t make sense, just know that it’s delicious and you should try it.
Can I Use a Different Fruit?
Yes, you can!
It’s delicious with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. I like to use a mixture of all three in this berry clafoutis.
Should I Pit the Cherries First?
In my opinion, the answer is a million times YES.
According to Dory Greenspan, the French typically do not pit their cherries before making clafoutis, because you lose a little bit of cherry juice when you pit them.
While I never want to disagree with the French or Dory Greenspan about food, personally, I highly recommend pitting the cherries first.
Especially if you’re serving this clafoutis to guests, and (extra) especially if those guests aren’t used to spitting out cherry pits in front of company.
If you choose to leave the cherries whole, just make sure to warn your friends and family before they take a bite.
What’s the easiest way to pit cherries?
If possible, use a cherry pitter (like this OXO cherry pitter).
At first, it might seem like an unnecessary kitchen tool (a unitasker with only one trick), but trust me, when you’re staring at a bowl of cherries, a cherry pitter will become your best friend.
However, if you don’t have a cherry pitter, here’s what I used to do.
Place each cherry at the top of a glass bottle (the opening should be smaller than the cherry). Use a chopstick and push straight through the cherry. The pit will fall into the bottle, and the cherry will be ready to use!
If you don’t have a cherry pitter OR a bottle and chopstick, you can also cut each cherry in half and remove the pit by hand.
Can I Use Canned or Jarred Sour Cherries Instead?
You sure can.
As much as I love cherry clafoutis with sweet cherries (like Bing or Rainier), they’re only available for a few months each year.
Another option is to use sour cherries in a can or jar. These usually come packed in syrup, so just make sure to drain the syrup before baking.
My friend Melanie loves to make her clafoutis with Trader Joe’s dark morello cherries.
How to Make Cherry Clafoutis
Start by placing a knob of butter in a pie pan, and then place the pie pan in the oven while it pre-heats.
Next, whisk together flour, eggs, milk, cream, a dash of salt, and a little vanilla or almond extract.
Pull the pie pan out of the oven.
Add the cherries, and then pour the batter over the cherries.
Finally, bake until the clafoutis is golden. The center should still jiggle a little when you pull it out of the oven.
Let it set for at least five minutes, and then serve it warm or cool.
This dessert is delightful with a scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day.
Do you have more cherries than you can possibly use? Learn how to freeze cherries for later!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup milk (2% or whole, not skim)
- ⅔ cup flour
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sweet cherries, pitted (fresh or frozen) Do not thaw frozen cherries before baking
- Optional (To Serve): powdered sugar
- Preheat oven 400ºF.
- Add butter to the bottom of a deep dish pie pan (or 8″x8″ baking dish). Place in oven while it’s preheating.
- In a large mixing bowl, add all remaining ingredients except the cherries. Whisk well.
- Remove pie pan from the oven, and add cherries to the pan. Pour batter over fruit.
- Bake 35-40 minutes until clafoutis is golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool 5-10 minutes. Note: If you skip the cooling time, the clafoutis won't hold its shape when cut.
- Dust clafoutis with powdered sugar (optional), and serve with fresh berries if desired.
- Store leftover cobbler in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.