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Cherry Clafouti

A cherry clafouti in a red dish with cherry dish towels
This old-style French cherry clafouti dessert, given to us by Auvergnat grandmother Jean Barbet, calls for unpitted cherries. This is the tradition in the region, not as a labor-saving shortcut, but because the pits are believed to add flavor to the cake. If the idea unsettles you, don't hesitate to use pitted cherries.
Editors of Saveur

Prep 5 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 45 mins
Dessert
French
8 servings
205 kcal

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk preferably whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch (optional)
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups sweet cherries stems removed, pitted if desired
  • Confectioners’ sugar if desired

Directions 

  • To make the cherry clafouti, preheat the oven to 400° F (204°C). Generously butter a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9-inch baking dish.
  • Add the vanilla, eggs, sugar, milk, kirsch if using, and salt to a blender and blend just a few seconds until combined. Then add the flour and process until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Pour the batter into the buttered skillet. Scatter the cherries over the batter. Bake until a golden brown crust forms on top and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if you like.

Notes

What is clafouti?

Clafoutis in France, clafouti in anglophone countries, is a traditional baked dessert from France. Usually made with unpitted black cherries, it's really just a sturdy custard filled with fruit. Cherries, yes, but you can really make this dessert with anything in season—plums and blueberries are also quite divine. "Clafouti" means "to fill up" (with cherries, in this case) and it's a dessert that is meant to use up the harvest's excess. So feel free to experiment with any fruit you have too much of.