I’ve noticed that so far on my blog of all published recipes most of them are desserts. Well, I surely cannot resist them, especially now that our market and gardens here in Croatia are full of juicy and fragrant fruits, like strawberries and cherries. You already had the opportunity to try out my first recipe with strawberries and now it was time for me to share my recipe for dessert with cherries. 🙂
The first cherries to me mean only one thing: the French cherry clafoutis. I still remember my first clafoutis ever that I made a few years ago: it was a hot summer day and my sister and I were really craving something sweet. We were too lazy to go to the store, and in the fridge, we only had milk and eggs. But, we also had many mirabelle plums in the garden. And so we made our first clafoutis with mirabelle plums. Well, at least I thought we made clafoutis. Later I found out that clafoutis is only made with cherries, but when you use other fruit, like plums, blueberries, pears, apricots, etc. this dessert is called correctly flognarde.
But, maybe you’ve been asking yourself what is clafoutis at all?
It is a rustic, baked fruit dessert whose consistency is similar to a thicker pancake, or maybe flan or even some kind of pudding. It originates from the Limousin region, located in central France, and it gained most of its popularity during the 19th century. Traditionally, clafoutis is made exclusively with unpitted black cherries which are typical for Limousin. And the reason for leaving them unpitted is quite interesting: during the baking process, the pits release a small amount of amygdalin (vitamin B17). This active chemical compound gives the clafoutis a delicate almond flavor.
However, for all of us who want to spare ourselves from an unnecessary dentist appointment and eat our cherry clafoutis relaxed, I suggest putting just a few drops of bitter almond extract instead of using unpitted cherries.
This will give an incredible aroma to this dessert and it goes really well with cherries!
Also, I wanted to mention (from my experience) that it would be best to use the biggest cherries you can find out there. In this clafoutis in the photos I’ve used a mix of smaller and bigger cherries, but after that, I baked another one only with big cherries and it was definitely much juicier.
Have you ever prepared clafoutis or flognarde? Which fruits do you prefer to use in this type of dessert? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments, on my Facebook page, or Instagram profile.
Cherry Clafoutis (Clafoutis aux cerises)
- 500 g bigger cherries (pitted)
- 250 ml milk
- 3 eggs
- 65 g brown sugar
- 100 g white flour
- 25 g butter (melted and lukewarm)
- 1 tablespoon rum
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
- good pinch salt
- few drops bitter almond extract
- additional butter for greasing the baking pan
- Wash the cherries, and clean them from petioles and pits. Try not to halve the cherries but leave them whole so that you don't end up with soggy clafoutis. Marinate pitted cherries with vanilla sugar and rum for about 1-2 hours. Stir them occasionally.
- When the cherries are ready, make a batter. Mix all wet ingredients (milk, eggs, melted butter, almond extract), add sugar and salt, and slowly stir in the flour making sure that you don't create any lumps.
- Drain the cherries and put them in the baking pan that you've previously greased with the butter. Stir in the batter the liquid that remained after draining the cherries. Pour the batter over the cherries and bake in a preheated oven at 180 °C (about 360 °F) for 45-50 min.
- For me, clafoutis is best when served warm or lukewarm. You can dust it with powdered sugar, and serve it with whipped cream or with a scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!
- Tip for pitting cherries: take a straw and just push it through the middle of the cherry. In that way, you'll be left with whole, but pitted cherries 🙂 If you have bigger cherries then use a wider straw, and vice versa.
- My baking pan is 26 cm in diameter so I get a bit "lower" clafoutis but you can use a smaller baking pan if you want and you'll get taller clafoutis. Perhaps it will only be necessary to adjust the cooking time.