Thursday, 20 October 2022

Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry and stone fruit season is just around the corner for us here in Australia, so not to be deterred due to a lack of fresh cherries, I have chosen to make this delicious dessert using pitted Morello Cherries. They work beautifully in this French flan which is also a kind of baked custard. Baking this Cherry Clafoutis is the beginning of my plan to start cooking easy dishes with a French theme, as I am travelling to France next year in Spring to visit M & M and our three grandchildren, who are currently living in Montpellier. I finalised all of the air fares this morning, so it seems real now. I am so excited but also a little nervous as I am travelling on my own. Mr. HRK has decided not to go as it is a heck of a long way on a plane from Australia and last time we flew to the Falkland Islands and South America he experienced a lot of pain with his sinuses. His back doesn't cope well with all that sitting either so I'm being very brave and hoping that my smattering of French, the Aussie accent and a smile, will encourage people to help me navigate Charles de Gaulle Airport if needed. I've flown into there before, but it's been a long time. I just can't wait to see my grandchildren again.

A Clafoutis is a French dessert likened to a French flan, and with interesting rural origins. It is most commonly thought to have originated in the countryside around Limousin, which is slap bang in the middle of France mostly atop the Massif Central, and sometimes referred to as France's rural heartland. This is an area I would love to visit.  Did you know the name of the Limousine vehicle is thought to have originated from Limousin, because of the resemblance between the covered portion of the vehicle and a popular style of black cloak worn in Limousin for warmth? Makes sense eh?

I take travel seriously these days, so I'm attempting to improve my schoolgirl French, read some of the French cookbooks sitting on my bookshelf, watch some French cooking programs, and make some recipes like this one to whet my appetite for French food. That's the food and language boxes ticked.  I saw a Cherry Clafoutis made by a French chef on TV recently, however never having made a Clafoutis before I thought I would make a simpler version which I could easily replicate in my son's kitchen and which would be suitable to cook for my grandchildren. French desserts can be anything from elaborate and decadent to simple, rustic and delicious. I'm starting with the latter. This one is very low on sugar, and therefore suitable for serving to the whole family, and very quick and easy to make. A great place to start. It is also very versatile as lots of different fruits can be used, stone fruits such as apricots, peaches and plums are also perfect. I'm really looking forward to stone fruit season in a month or so. 

This is really a French baked custard, and can be your Summer go to dessert. It just might be ours. Almond flour can be substituted for plain flour to convert it to gluten free, however the eggs can't be replaced, they are the essential custard ingredient.

I adapted this recipe from one by Jamie Oliver.

Bon appetit. 

Straight out of the oven

Let's cook:

Serves 4-6

Cooks in 50 minutes plus resting


300 g pitted Morello Cherries or use fresh, preferably stones removed, if you have them

1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature for greasing

1 tablespoon caster sugar 

icing sugar. for dusting


60 g plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3 large free-range eggs

60 g sugar


Preheat the oven to 180 deg. C./gas 4.

Grease a 25 cm round ovenproof baking dish with the butter. Sprinkle the sugar over the base.

Add all the batter ingredients with a pinch of sea salt to a food processor bowl and mix until there are no lumps and totally smooth.

Set aside the mixture in a largish jug for 20 to 30 minutes. I balanced my food processor jug over the bowl so that every last drop of batter drips into the bowl, or just use a spatula. It's much easier to pour the batter into the baking dish from a jug with a pouring lip than from my food processor bowl.

Dot the cherries around the base of the baking dish. If you are using fresh cherries, you can soften them up a bit by placing the dish in the oven for 5 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven and carefully pour the batter over the top of the cherries, without moving the cherries, and the cherries are just covered.

Return the dish to the oven and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, until it is beautifully golden and puffy. Like a souffle, the clafoutis will lose it's puffiness quickly however that doesn't really affect the taste or texture. Such a shame though isn't it? Allow the dessert to cool slightly to lukewarm.

When lukewarm, sprinkle the clafoutis with a dusting of icing sugar and serve with Vanilla Bean ice cream or whipped cream.

A few cook's notes: (I've learned a lot about making clafoutis)

  • Sprinkle with icing sugar when the clafoutis is lukewarm and ready to eat, not when it's hot straight out of the oven, or the icing sugar will just absorb into the cooked custard.
  • Clafoutis is also lovely served in individually buttered 12 cm diameter dishes. Ladle the batter over the cherries, filling to near the top of the dishes. Bake your dishes in the oven for 10 minutes or until the batter is no longer sticky when tested with a skewer or knife. 
  • If using individual dishes, it may also be easier for you to place the dishes in your oven with the oven shelf pulled out, and pour the batter into each individual dish, rather than trying to place the dishes in the oven without trying to spill any.
  • I've read that clafoutis is delicious served up for breakfast in France and on the following day, if that is what you like, however I wouldn't recommend serving it up for dessert again the following day. Served fresh out of the oven on the day of baking gives the best result.
  • Be warned, in my bottle of cherries, 8 cherries still had the pips in place.

Warm wishes and Bon appetit,



  1. I adore clafoutis! It's easy to make and the result is always great. Yours looks terrific, Pauline.

  2. I found LEARN FRENCH WITH PAUL NOBLE to be the best resource. It won't be long before you jet away. And luckily the signs are CDG are also in English.
    from Tandy I Lavender and Lime

  3. I personally love a clafoutis because it’s not overly sweet. And i love cherries! I’ve only made one with fresh cherries but I love Morellos!

    1. Morellos worked perfectly in this Mimi, great to hear from you, thanks.

  4. this looks scrumptious pauline. i've made clafoutis before, but not for ages. and i do love cherries!

  5. oh yes how fab about going to france!

  6. I've heard of Clafoutis, but I havent' had one, and I didn't know that it's similar to flan. I love flan! I love how rustic and homey this tart looks.

  7. Oh that will be so exciting to see your grandkids again - you'll be fine travelling I'm sure! And this is a great way to get into the French spirit. This clafoutis looks delicious!!

    1. Thanks so much David, yes I'm so looking forward to my trip.

  8. Looks just perfect, Pauline - one of my favorite desserts ever since I had it in Provence.


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