Cherry Clafoutis

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cherry clafoutis

About three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, we head to the farmers’ market near our home to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. I avoid, as much as possible, going to the supermarket with two tiny tots in tow, but the farmers’ market makes grocery shopping a pure pleasure. There are no crowded and narrow aisles to navigate, which means the children can run around from stand to stand, inspecting the beautiful produce on display and “help” me to do the shopping.

Our first stop is always at the Bäckerie Känzig stand for a Müüsli for my son (a sweetened bun in the shape of a mouse which is sprinkled with pearl sugar), and a Volkorngipfeli (multigrain croissant) for my daughter. The ladies working the stand have a soft spot for children and always give half a Weggli (soft bread roll) to each child. With these baked goods secured, the children are kept occupied for a brief moment while I visit my usual vendors.

Once the shopping is done, we then often head to a nearby playground for the children to burn off the calories from the morning’s intake of pastries. But in the event of rain (we always go to the markets, rain or shine), we like to pop into one of the many coffee shops nearby where I try to enjoy a coffee while my daughter gets up to mischief.

la stanza

{The pastry stand at La Stanza.}

la stanza

{Coffee at La Stanza.}

la stanza

{Coffee at La Stanza.}

müüsli

{My son’s favourite treat, a Müüsli (sweetened bun in the shape of a mouse).}

peonies

{Beautiful peonies on display.}

red carrots

parisian carrots

{Parisian Carrots}

potatoes

tropical fruit

tailors coffee

{Loving the illustrations of the staff on the coffee cups at Tailor’s Coffee.}

My favourite indulgence at the moment is sitting down with a bag of cherries to devour as a meal, all on my lonesome. And while binge-watching back-to-back episodes of The Americans on TV. Of course, this means that I also have to buy an extra bag of cherries for the family to enjoy, which often disappears the moment I set the bowl on the table. I’m loving the big, fat, juicy cherries which are imported next door from France; the children can’t seem to get enough of them, which has therefore made them a great tool for bribery in our household these past few weeks. (The Swiss cherries are very good, too, but just not as meaty.)

cherries

But the unthinkable happened the other day – I bought too many cherries. Or rather, I went a bit overboard with the other stone fruits which are coming into season and the once plump but firm cherries were starting to look a bit past their prime. While I think cherries are best enjoyed eaten just as they are, adding them to a cake is a better option if they are a bit too ripe for eating.

On such occasions, I love to make a Cherry Crumble Cake by simply following the recipe for Apricot Crumble Cake, but using pitted cherries in place of the apricots.

cherry crumble cake

{Cherry Crumble Cake. Simply use the recipe for Apricot Crumble Cake and use pitted fresh cherries in place of the apricots.}

But after posting the photo for my Cherry Crumble Cake on Instagram, someone mentioned cherry clafoutis and I knew that that had to be next on my to-bake list.

A clafoutis is a French dessert which, in its original form, is a rich custard baked until it is set. Cherries are a popular fruit used in clafoutis, and the stones are traditionally left in, supposedly because they add to the flavour of the dessert. But as we now live in a litigious society, I recommend pitting the cherries first, which also means you can be more relaxed about serving this dessert to children and older guests.

cherry clafoutis 4

This recipe is adapted from A Kitchen in France by the lovely and ever-inspiring Mimi Thorisson. I had a bottle of orange flower water in the pantry which had remained untouched for a terribly long time, but I was reminded of her recipe as I was wondering what to do with this orange flower water. This dessert is fairly easy to whip up, and as it needs time to set, it’s also perfect to make a bit ahead of time if you have guests coming over later in the day.

Cherry Clafoutis
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe adapted from A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson
Author:
Serves: Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 3½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 450g (1 lb) cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 70g (3/4 cup) plain flour
  • 65g (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean or ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla powder
  • 200ml (3/4 cup plus 1½ tablespoons) full cream milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon orange flower water
  • icing sugar for dusting
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. Butter a 23cm (9 inch) round cake pan with high sides, and line the bottom with baking paper.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean (or pure vanilla powder).
  4. Whisk in the milk, and then whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add the orange flower water and melted butter, and whisk until you have a smooth batter.
  6. Arrange the cherries on the bottom of the cake tin.
  7. Pour the batter over the cherries.
  8. Bake the clafoutis for 15 minutes.
  9. Lower the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F) and bake for a further 30 minutes or so, or until the clafoutis has puffed up and is lightly golden. It is important to use a cake tin with high sides (about 5 cm high) so that the mixture does not spill over the sides when it is puffing up.
  10. Let the cake cool and set on a wire rack for about 1 hour.
  11. Dust generously with icing sugar before serving.

Cook’s Notes

Although cherries are the traditional fruit used in a clafoutis, you can substitute with other fruits such as apricots, peaches and blueberries.

Share your photos!

If you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #eatlittlebird

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7 Comments

  1. Mimi 13 July 2016

    A beautiful clafoutis! I should look in to Mimi’s books! But your photographs are absolutely stunning.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 18 July 2016

      Thank you so much! Mimi Thorisson has a new book coming out later this year – I can’t wait!

      Reply
  2. Paula 28 July 2016

    Oh, Thanh, I love your photos, and that nice routine you describe!! Green with envy 😛

    Cherries are dangerous for me!!!! Someone has to give me rations, because if I go with a 4 kilos box, I can eat all!!!
    So, if I want to make a clafoutis (and I love them!!), I have to arrive home and make it 😛 If it’s for tomorrow, there won’t be any cherry 😛

    As it’s a simple recipe, and I make often in spring-summer, I always try something different. If you like goat milk, you have to try with it! Or with coconut milk and a spoonful or to of pâte de pistaches, that’s on my favourites. And once I made something really delicious, I mix sugar and some mint leaves, to make something like a powder, which gave flavour to the batter and raspberrys I used instead of cherries, I promise it was great.!
    I’ve to try with orange flower water, I have at home, but never tried in a clafoutis. You made my day with this idea!!

    Usually, I use the cherries with the stone, because, my kitchen gets sooo dirty when I pit them.

    The gooseberry crumble cake looks also sooo nice!! I have bought gooseberry twice (at German and Switzerland), and I always think about making a clafoutis with them. But now I see that crumble cake looks even better for them. The truth is that, in those two occasions, we end eating just plain, my mother and me (yes, as I try to make the purchases last day, I brang them home!! :P).

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 4 August 2016

      I am trying to eat as many cherries as I can while they are in season, especially the big, fat ones from the farmers’ market 🙂 The children get so messy when they eat them, though … I just have to make sure they are not wearing white clothes! (they don’t have many white clothes anyway ;-)) And I know what you mean about pitting the cherries – I always wear an apron and sometimes even pit the cherries under a teatowel. But lately, my son insists on “helping” me whenever I am in the kitchen and he loves to pit the cherries for me. You can imagine the mess then! He usually ends up in the bath right afterwards, ha ha 😉

      You’ve made a clafoutis with coconut milk? That sounds really delicious … I must try that! Thanks for the ideas 🙂

      Reply
      • Paula 20 August 2016

        Oh, I hope you try!!! With coconut milk is so delicious!! I like to play with that recipe as it’s an easy one to do it.

        Wow, I think the best option for your kid (and for me), it’s to pit them with a swimsuit in the bath!! I try to do it near the sink, but anyway, that’s a mess!!

        Reply
  3. Maj 29 May 2017

    My first attempt was a success. I tried a different recipe before, three times to be precise, but could enjoy the result as much. Your recipe on the other hand, is easy and I ended up with a very delicious Clafoutis for my breakfast which I really enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing your recipe, Thanh.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 31 May 2017

      Hi Maj, that’s so lovely to hear! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe. I plan to make it this weekend, now that cherry season is finally here again 🙂

      Reply

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