Life’s a bowl of cherries? Make clafouti.

Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy, can she bake a cherry pie…

Sure.

But does she want to?

Not always.

I love pie as much as the next person. Possibly even more; pie might very well be my #1 dessert.

GOOD pie, that is. Pie with tender, buttery, flaky crust. One whose fruit filling is perfectly thickened – neither wet/watery, nor dry/stiff.

A pie whose flavor is the perfect marriage of sweet (though not too) and fruit, with perhaps a mere touch of spice.

Despite the number of years I’ve been baking, pie is still a challenge. Maybe my sights are set too high (see above). Or maybe I simply don’t have the touch.

I find pie-baking is like golf: every now and then you hit that great shot and think, “Ah-HA! I’ve got it!” Till you shank the next shot, 2 minutes later

Can I bake a GREAT cherry pie? Sometimes. Especially using sour cherries and my favorite recipe, Mr. Washington’s Cherry Pie.

But when Bing cherries are in season, and I want a fast, easy, non-challenging cherry dessert, I click right to Cherry Clafouti.

Oh, boy… nothing like a bowl of crisp, sweet of Bing cherries!

And here are two flavors that marry beautifully with cherry – vanilla, and almond.

Start with a pound of cherries.

How to pit a pound of cherries in under 2 minutes? It’s easy, when you have a cherry pitter.

It took me 1 minute, 38 seconds to pit this pound of cherries. No joke! I timed it. Pits go into the hopper; and about 3 to 3 1/2 cups of pitted cherries go into the bowl.

Beware, though – there’ll be some spattering. Wear an apron, for sure.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Lightly grease a 9” round cake pan, one that’s at least 2” deep.

Put the cherries into the pan; they should form a single layer that pretty much covers the bottom.

Put the following in a blender or food processor:

3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup (3 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Blend till frothy.

If you’re using a mixer, beat the liquid ingredients, then add the sugar and flour, quickly whisking to combine.

Pour the batter over the cherries in the pan.

It won’t cover them; that’s OK.

Bake the clafouti on a lower-middle rack of your oven for 20 minutes.

See why you need a pan that’s at least 2” deep?

Reduce the oven heat to 350°F. I have a bad habit of forgetting to turn the oven down in situations like this…

Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. The edges should be pulling away from the sides of the pan.

Remove from the oven.

See how the clafouti is pulling away from the edges of the pan?

Notice the garnish of sliced almonds. I added 1/4 cup of sliced almonds for the final 10 minutes of baking, expecting them to brown nicely; they didn’t. Next time, I’d toast the almonds first, then sprinkle them on just before serving.

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipe for Cherry Clafouti.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Hannah

    Love, love, love the clafouti. Am going to try it with some local peaches next. It is a snap to make! But did have a bit of a time getting it out of the pan while still warm. Perhaps I should use a solid shortening rather than a non stick spray. Thanks for the recipe. It is a keeper for my family.

    Hannah, shortening does generally work better in sticky situations… I think you should try it. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  2. Kim

    Put a piping bag star tip on the end of your finger and push into the cherry and the pit pops out the other end. Works great though it does tend to mess up the edges of the star tip.

    Cool! Thanks for sharing, Kim- PJH

    Reply
  3. Shirley

    I tried my own experiment, halving the recipe and making in individual ramekins since we’re a household of only 2. I wasn’t thrilled with the results. I found the custard a bit eggy and chewy, and not sure if that’s how a clafouti is or if it’s due to my changes (probably the latter). I had cut the time in half and reduced the temperature to 425 and 325. Anyway, my word of advice: make the recipe as it’s written.

    Shirley, clafouti is rather like Yorkshire pudding – or a Dutch Baby pancake. So maybe you were just expecting something different? Thanks for sharing your experience here – PJH

    Reply
  4. Sharon

    My only cherry pitter is my thumbnail. If I’m lucky, my right thumbnail is about 3/8″ long and perfect for poking into the top (stem end) of a cherry and scooping out the seed. It’s as neat, fast and much cheaper than buying a cherry pitter!

    Reply
  5. Marla

    Lessons learned in making cherry clafouti:
    Don’t use KA white whole wheat flour (didn’t have all-purpose flour, so I substituted).
    I’d like it a little sweeter…maybe 1 cup of sugar, instead of 1/2.
    Would also be a nice breakfast treat…especially without additional sugar.
    🙂
    Thanks for sharing your results. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  6. Angie

    Don’t have sour cherries around here and didn’t want to shell out $s for a cherry pitter, so I used slightly unripe peaches which we have in abundance(for a dryer fruit layer) and it came out delicious.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  7. Julie

    Is it okay to use a glass/ceramic pan? And does it have to be a 9″? If my pan is 8″ what allowences to I need to make.
    Hi Julie,
    It’s fine to use glass or ceramic, just keep an eye on the baking time, it will probably be shorter. As for the pan, it really does need to be 9”, or the clafouti will overflow. ~ MaryJane

    Reply

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *