Clafoutis (pronounced “kla-foo-TEE”) is a rustic French dessert originally from Limousin in southern France. This region is best known for its sweet black cherries, which are left whole and unpitted. Some say the cherry pits add a certain almond flavor to desserts. The pits contain benzaldehyde, the active chemical in almond extract, adding a complex note to its flavor). Other fruits such as plums, prunes, apricots, pears, cranberries, or blackberries could be used. In the wintertime, canned fruits could be substituted.
Preparation is fast and easy even for an inexperienced chef, so the dessert is a perfect choice for impromptu gatherings.
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g) sugar
- 6 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) fresh cherries, pitted, or 1 1/4 lb. (625 g) frozen cherries, thawed and drained
- 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter an 11-inch ovenproof fry pan or large baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Using a handheld mixer, beat on medium-high speed until ribbons form, about 8 minutes. Add the flour, vanilla, and cream. Reduce the speed to low and beat until completely blended, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
In a small bowl, using a handheld whisk, beat the egg whites and salt for about 30 seconds. Add the whites to the batter and beat with the mixer on low speed until incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
Butter the baking dish and add little flour, so the batter does not stick during baking. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Top with cherries or fruit of your preference.
Bake the clafoutis until the custard is just set; a knife poked in the center should emerge relatively clean. It’ll take about 45 minutes. (baking time depends on the size and the depth of the baking dish).
Serving: The clafoutis can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold. It’s traditionally not served with any accompaniment but could be served with ice cream.
Storage: The Clafoutis can be made up to one day in advance and refrigerated overnight.
LIBRARY RESOURCES FOR FRENCH COOKING:
Kanopy video –
Hoopla e-book –
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