This classic clafoutis recipe is the perfect light and fluffy French dessert, bursting with juicy fresh fruit nestled in a cloud-like baked custard. This recipe features the traditional cherry variation, but you can use any fruit you desire, from assorted berries to slices of peaches or plums.
The easiest from-scratch dessert you'll ever make.
Clafoutis (pronounced klah-foo-TEE) is a classic French dessert that comes together in minutes and delivers major flavor. It’s a baked custard studded with fruit that puffs up beautifully in the oven, then falls into a tender, almost souffle-like texture once cooled. It's got a soft, creamy interior when sliced, and yes, you can make it all in just 10 minutes.
Well, I should say you can make it with 10 minutes of active effort, and to be honest, it's probably even less than that. The beauty of clafoutis is that you don't need fancy equipment or difficult techniques-- you can let the oven do the work while you just relax.
You’ll love this recipe because it's:
- VERSATILE. This dessert works with any fruit so you can take advantage of what's fresh and in season.
- QUICK TO PREPARE. It takes 10 minutes of easy prep time before popping your clafoutis in the oven. That's it!
- FLAVORFUL AND TEXTURED. The cracked top, creamy custard interior, and juicy fresh fruit make for a simple but delicious dessert, especially when topped with a dusting of powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream!
Take a peak in the cabinet and fridge and you probably have the ingredients to make clafoutis ready to go.
- Milk and eggs - To make the creamy custard base of the clafoutis, you need a fair amount of dairy-- particularly eggs and milk or cream. Make sure to use them at room temperature for best results!
- Sugar - Granulated sugar sweetens the base of the dessert, and powdered sugar is perfect for dusting on top before serving.
- Vanilla and almond extracts - For the best flavor, add vanilla extract and almond extract. Not only does the almond extract tie in the toasted sliced almond topping (if using, of course), but it also enhances the cherry flavor, since it contains the same flavorful compounds as cherry pits!
- Flour - All-purpose flour helps to thicken the custard so it sets up properly.
- Butter - Buttering your baking dish helps to prevent sticking, and some melted butter in the batter adds extra richness to the custard.
- Fresh cherries or other fruit - Fresh fruit providse pockets of juicy tartness and texture!
To Pit or Not To Pit?
If using cherries, leaving the pits in will add a delicate, almond-like flavor to your clafoutis, and is actually the most traditional way to prepare the dish.
However, if you don't want to have to fuss with the pits as you go, you can pit the cherries with a cherry pitter (or these easy methods) and then add almond extract to your cherry clafoutis instead.
How to make clafoutis:
Making this easy clafoutis is simple with just a few steps.
- Prep the fruit. Wash, dry, and cut the fruit if necessary. If using cherries, you can opt to pit them or leave them whole. If using larger stone fruit such as peaches, plums, or apricots, cut into slices before using.
- Make the batter. Whisk together the wet ingredients: eggs, sugar, milk, butter, and extracts. Then whisk in the dry ingredients: flour and salt. Don't overmix, as it will cause the batter to develop too much gluten and make it dense and rubbery.
- Bake. Place the cherries (or other fruit) into a greased baking dish. Pour the batter over the cherries and bake the clafoutis at 350F until puffed and set.
- Serve. Allow the clafoutis to cool slightly before dusting generously with powdered sugar. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
The technique of gently baking fresh fruit in a custard batter yields impressive results. As the batter sets during baking, pockets of air get trapped, causing it to puff. The contrast between the soft creamy interior and lightly browned top is part of what makes clafoutis so enjoyable. Meanwhile, the fruit softens just slightly while retaining a pleasant tart pop of flavor.
Tips for success:
- Use ripe, juicy fruit at the peak of freshness for best results
- Resist overmixing the batter to prevent denseness
- Allow clafoutis to rest before slicing so the custard firms up
- Dust with powdered sugar just before serving for pretty presentation
Get creative with your own clafoutis combinations by playing around with the fruit selection. Some delicious flavor pairings include:
- Peach clafoutis - Substitute sliced peaches or nectarines for the cherries.
- Berry clafoutis - Use raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or a mix.
- Plum clafoutis - Sliced plums add pretty color and sweetness.
- Apple clafoutis - Sauté apples in cinnamon and sugar first.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What type of dish should I use?
A: Choose an oven-safe baking dish like a pie plate or cast iron skillet. Be sure to butter it well so the batter doesn’t stick.
Q: What’s the difference between a clafoutis and a crisp/crumble?
A: Clafoutis is a custard with fruit baked into it, resulting in a creamy interior. Crisps and crumbles have an oat or flour topping that bakes into a crispy layer.
Q: How do I know when it’s done baking?
A: The clafoutis is done when the top is puffed and lightly browned, and the center still jiggles slightly. The custard will continue to set as it cools.
Q: Can I use frozen fruit instead of fresh?
A: It's best to use ripe, fresh and in-season fruit for the most flavor. Frozen fruit tends to get mushy when baked.
Q: What should I serve with it?
Clafoutis is perfect on its own, but you can top it with whipped cream or ice cream for an extra treat. It also pairs nicely with coffee or tea.
- 1 cup whole milk
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3 cups fresh cherries or other fruit, pitted
- Powdered sugar, toasted sliced almonds, whipped cream, and/or ice cream, for topping
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Generously butter a round baking dish, cast iron skillet, or pie plate. Melt the remaining butter and let cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl or blender, combine the whole milk, granulated sugar, eggs, melted butter, and extracts. Whisk or blend until well combined. Add the all-purpose flour into the wet mixture, and mix until a smooth, lump-free batter forms.
- Place the pitted cherries (or other fruit of your choice) into the buttered dish. Pour the batter over the fruit. The fruit should still show through on the surface.
- Carefully transfer the dish to the preheated oven, and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until the clafoutis is set and golden brown around the edges. The center should still be slightly wobbly. Once done, remove the clafoutis from the oven and allow it to cool slightly.
- Dust the clafoutis with powdered sugar, top with toasted sliced almonds, and serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 55 mins