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the little fruits

Recipe: cherry-almond clafoutis

[Thanks to 5280 Magazine for the shout out! I’m honored, even if you called my tone irreverent – which it is. When I first moved to Colorado, I thought 5280 was a truncated zipcode and it really puzzled the hell out of me. Congratulations to fellow blogger Rebecca Caro for making the list too.]

Strawberry who? I’m just joshin’ around. This house is still loving the strawberries, but now those shiny, luscious cherries are making their appearance in the markets. Consider me enamored. I associate summer with small fruits that stain your hands deep reds and purples. Messy and sweet. Summer equals berries. But wait – cherries are drupes.

a bowl of cherries sounds better than a bowl of drupes

We buy a lot of fruit on a regular basis – a rainbow of fruits. From our groceries, you’d think we are healthy eaters. That’s only a half-truth. Half of the fruit is for Jeremy because he’s fruitist. He discriminates against drupes… doesn’t like drupes. I married a guy who won’t eat plums, peaches, nectarines, mangoes (seriously?!), or cherries. I know I’m not the only food blogger who married a picky-picky. What is up with that? Okay, this was going somewhere… We don’t own a cherry pitter because I’m the only one who eats cherries. I recently made a Fine Cooking recipe that called for pitted cherries. In the back of the issue, they had some nice tips on how to pit them without a pitter, including one method which uses a straw.

i happen to have a nice metal straw

pierce the bottom with the straw, then push from the top

Ever seen The Witches of Eastwick? Cherry pits. The metal straw worked like a charm with only a couple of errant cherry pits flying into the dusty corners of the kitchen. When they’ve all been pitted, toss the cherries with some kirsch and let sit for a half hour while you prep the rest of the recipe.

spinkle the kirsch

toast the almonds while the cherries are getting sauced

I’ve learned over the years that toasting any sort of nut requires careful attention. These days, I don’t pop a baking sheet of almonds into the oven without setting a timer. I can’t tell you how many times I have burned a sheet of nuts. It hurts. It hurts in that $8.99 per pound kind of way. If I’m toasting something ridiculously expensive like macadamia nuts, I just stand there and stare at the oven until they are done.

mix the batter: eggs, milk, cream, sugar, salt, and almond extract

place cherries in baking dish(es) and pour batter

The recipe is quite straightforward: pit, soak, toast, mix, pour, sprinkle. It’s the first time I’ve ever made or tried a clafoutis. For reals. Over the past few years I’ve noticed clafoutis spring up on the food blogs the way columbines bloom in summer around here. Fruit and stuff – good stuff. I like fruit and stuff.

dot with some buttah

sprinkle powdered sugar before serving

There are times when you read a recipe and have a very good idea how it will come out. My brain was definitely someplace else (many places, actually) when I made this. I watched the clafoutis rise in the oven to heroic heights and worried that it would disembowel itself on my oven floor – not an uncommon thing at high altitudes. But it didn’t and when I let them cool on the rack, they de-puffed to something more familiar. What surprised me was the custardy egginess. It reminded me of a Yorkshire pudding dotted with cherries, but better. Fabulous.

serve warm or at room temperature

Cherry-Almond Clafoutis
[print recipe]
from Fine Cooking issue #105

1 lb. fresh sweet or sour cherries, pitted
1 1/2 tbsps kirsch (cherry brandy)
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 tbsps unsalted butter (1/2 tbsp softened, cut into small pieces)
1 cup whole milk
3 oz. (2/3 cup) flour, sifted (I’m a lazy bum, I didn’t sift)
1/4 cup plus 1-2 tbsps sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
1/8 tsp pure almond extract
1/8 tsp salt
powdered sugar for serving

Preheat the oven to 350°F and set the rack in the center. Place the pitted cherries in a large bowl with the kirsch and toss them about every 5-10 minutes until they’ve been soaking for 30 minutes. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet until a light golden color. This takes about 3-4 minutes, but remember what I said about watching those almonds so they don’t burn! Remove the almonds from the oven and increase the temperature to 400°F. Butter the inside of your baking dish(es). The recipe calls for an 11-inch quiche dish. I used 4 small ramekin/quiche-like dishes. [If using sweet cherries, use 1/4 cup of sugar. If you have sour cherries, add another tablespoon of sugar to the 1/4 cup.] Mix the milk, flour, sugar, cream, eggs, almond extract, and salt together with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes (to incorporate a good amount of air into the batter). Drain off any liquid from the cherries into the batter (don’t drop the cherries in!). Set the cherries in the dish(es). Pour the batter over the cherries and bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle toasted almonds and remaining sugar (I remove the clafoutis from the oven to do this) over the tops and dot with pieces of butter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (35-40 minutes). The clafoutis will be puffed up and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for a half hour. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

48 nibbles at “the little fruits”

  1. Jeremy says:


    We should start a magazine called 8400 and tell Denver to suck it.

  2. Sarka says:

    Oh, thank you for the wonderful tip with the straw! I have to give it a try next time. Yum, the clafoutis look divine, I’m drooling!

  3. Tamar@StarvingofftheLand says:

    Fruit preference is a window into the mystery of human diversity. My husband’s favorite fruit is blackberries. Blackberries! What would possess anyone to prefer blackberries to cherries, or any of their drupe relatives. Stone fruits are the best fruits going — and your pictures made me drool.

  4. marianne says:

    This brings back so many memories of summers with family…. Yum!

  5. Bing Chou says:

    Congrats on the 5280 mention – keep up the great work!

  6. Danielle says:

    Wow! That looks ridiculously delicious!!! Now I’m starving!!!

  7. Meg says:

    Who couldn’t love something that allows you to say “clafoutis” repeatedly? What a great word.

    “Clafoutis!” “Gesundheit!”

  8. Allison says:

    Cherry clafoutis are (is? – I’m not sure if its plural or singular) on my ‘to bake’ list for this week. Thanks for the tip about the straw. I also do not own a cherry pitter as they fall into the ‘kitchen gadgets that have a signle use’ category and therefore, my husband forbids I buy one. He is the more practial one. Can’t wait to try my recipe now!

  9. says:

    Just when the strawberries are ending, along comes the cherries. And just in time because one look at that Cherry-Almond Clafoutis and I’m sunk.

    Thanks for the inspiration.


  10. Judy says:

    Those cherries are making me drool. Looks like I’ll have to head over to the farmers market on Saturday morning and get more. I recently made a delicious cherry bread pudding.

  11. Mrs Ergül says:

    They look so good! Every summer as I browse through the food blogs, I hate living where I do for the lack of fresh berries and other summer fruits…….. arghhhhhhhhhh

    Good thing your great culinary skills have put many of Jeremy’s pickiness at bay! :)

  12. Lisa says:

    I’m jealous – up here in the frozen north we don’t even have green fruit on our strawberry plants yet, forget cherries. They won’t hit until July.

  13. lynn @ human, being says:

    The thing is, those cherries would never have made it as far as the recipe. I would have eaten them all on the way home from the grocery store.

    And congrats Jen on the 5280 mention!

  14. Georgia says:

    You have inspired me to make a clafouti again. I always forget how delicious they are.

  15. Rainy Daisy says:

    brilliant! Thanks!

  16. Wei-Wei says:

    Very smart about the pitting. I’ve never had clafoutis before, but I’ve seen it mentioned without the S (like clafouti). Which is the proper spelling?? It looks delicious! :)


  17. Alisa says:

    Dear Jen, you have just provided the cherry for the top of my cake! I’ve wanted to make this for a long time, and now that i have finished exams I actually can! Thank You for the recipe and the pretty pics!

  18. Ruth Ann says:

    I have to try this clafouti recipe. It looks so yummy with the almonds on top and with the kirsch.
    Beautiful photos as always. Thanks Jen!

  19. barbara says:

    Lovely Jen. Clafoutis is a favourite in our house. I often make it for a weekend breakfast.

  20. Lucy says:

    This has made me so hungry for cherry season, not quite here yet! I will definitely save this recipe though, I love the addition of almonds. They make everything better :)

  21. Cherine says:


  22. Lynda says:

    ..looks soo good…can i use a substitute for the kirsch?

  23. Keeley says:

    Yum! This appears to be the type of dessert that I can assemble before company arrives and then bake during dinner. Your description of the eggy custard texture sounds divine. I love your blog! You have very good taste.

  24. Denise@There's a Newf in My Soup says:

    By his comment, I think Jeremy hit the nail on the head! I love your writing style, and your recipes, and your photography!

  25. Carolyn Jung says:

    I have a whole tub of Bings in my fridge just waiting to be baked into something. Now, I know what to make with them. I have a pitter, but I love your idea of using a straw. Genius!

  26. Dragana says:

    I gave my cherry pitter to an admiring cousin and haven’t replaced it yet. Thanks for the tip about pitting cherries with a straw. Your clafoutis looks fabulous!

  27. Janet says:

    I think the clafoutis are gorgeous in those scalloped shallow boats! Way prettier than the 9×13 pyrex pan I’ve used before. And the almonds I think would provide a nice textural contrast.
    Congrats on the 5280 shout-out!

  28. kirbie says:

    I’ve never had clafoutis before. But these look delicious and pretty simple to make. Your serving bowls are so perfect.

  29. CookiePie says:

    Beautiful!! I love clafouti, and your idea to make them individual is fantastic (that way, I don’t have to share… :)

  30. Jane L says:

    I never had claffouti, you made it seem easy to make, it is beautiful. I am going to action after your prompt !! Thanks,

  31. Alisa-Foodista says:

    It looks easy and delicious! I love your tip about using the metal straw.

  32. Nisrine@Dinners and Dreams says:

    Such a pretty clafoutis. I love the metal straw technique.

  33. Kath says:

    HA – what @Jeremy said :-)

    Yay for Fruit!

  34. Andrea says:

    Yum. I started reading Fine Cooking because of the praise you gave it here on URB. It has quickly become my favorite food mag and one of my go-to places for great recipes. I’m now even a subscriber. I can’t wait to try this one out as soon as my issue 105 arrives in the mail!

  35. Caitlin says:

    I’ve never had a clafoutis, but it does sound absolutely awesome. And once I have a more permanent address, I’m totally subscribing to Fine Cooking based upon your love of it. As for picky picky significant others, I totally have one – he wouldn’t eat onions in any form, chunky sauces, spicy foods, mushrooms, tomatoes and a host of other things when I met him. I’ve gotten him past the first three, but am still working on the rest. That, and his insistence that every meal involve meat. *sigh*

  36. Y says:

    Congrats on the mention! Love that clafoutis – and wow, metal straw – here I was buying expensive cherry pitters and all ! :P

  37. Cherry Almond Clafoutis « Bake Your Heart Out says:

    […] seeing Jen make a stunning cherry almond clafoutis last week, I thought to alter the recipe slightly.  I figured swapping out an extract and adding […]

  38. jenyu says:

    Thanks everyone for your kind words! I’ve seen the spelling as clafoutis on Wikipedia and this is how Fine Cooking spells it too :) And that straw idea is not mine! It’s from Fine Cooking – they have awesome tips.

    Lynda – do you mean a non-alcoholic sub? I suppose some vanilla extract or juice? Maybe you can omit altogether?

    Kath – FRUIT! xo

    Andrea – you won’t be disappointed. They give me inspiration. I love that mag.

    Caitlin – yup, I think it’s predestined that good cooks get paired with picky eaters… to convert them ;)

    Y – truth be told, I think after making 4 cherry recipes, I am ready for a pitter now! ha ha ha!! :) xo

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    […] homemade concoctions in lieu of Kirsch or Chambord in all sorts of recipes — including this delicious cherry clafoutis.  But my favourite use of the cherry vodka was in the ‘Spirited Cherry and Raspberry […]

  42. Honeybump says:

    the first clafoutis I made, I was shocked at how “eggie” it was; now I love the texture. I have the same dishes. they are perfect for this dessert; I have a cherry pitter since I used to have a cherry tree and that is a whole lot of cherries; kudos for the magazine recognition :)

  43. Emma @ Poires au Chocolat says:

    I made this a few days ago – it was wonderful! I wasn’t sure if I would like it having never tried clafoutis before but I loved this. I hope you don’t mind but I posted this recipe (in a smaller quantity) on my blog – I referenced you :)

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  45. Nice et Clafouti Encore says:

    […] cherries, but if you leave yours in, do be sure to warn your dinner guests! I also took a hint from Jen and added a layer of almonds on top. In addition, I liberally sugared the baking dishes and the […]

  46. Liz says:

    I love your photos, and tried the recipe- it was lovely, thanks for posting it. I did a post on it on my blog:

  47. Plum Clafoutis and a CSA Box Giveaway | StreamingGourmet - The Blog says:

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  48. Jan says:

    Hi Jen, A comment on pitting cherries… have you ever tried a small paperclip? Just slip it into the cherry at the stem end and pull out the pit. Works like a charm! I do a lot of cherry pitting every year and got tired of all the juice leaking out of them with TWO holes in the fruit. I think this way is much better, and so easy.
    Best wishes for your continued good health!

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