David Lebovitz's Cherry Clafoutis

June 19, 2017
5 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

From David Lebovitz, a marshal of French desserts, comes the simplest and fastest treat on this list: clafoutis, a puffed, pancake-y fruit dessert that I might call the French cousin of the Dutch baby.

All you need is a blender, or a powerful whisking arm, and 45 minutes. (You don't even need a cherry pitter if you've got a bottle and a straw—or if you don't mind giving your dentist anxiety.)

As the clafoutis bakes, the batter puffs, subsuming the cherries; it stays eggy and spongey in the middle while crisping and browning along the vessel's perimeter—and that certainly means you must try at least one scoop from each area.
Sarah Jampel

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/4 pounds (570 grams) sweet cherries
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) plus 3 tablespoons (38 grams) sugar, divided
  • 1 1/3 cups (330 milliliters) milk
  • Softened butter, for preparing the baking dish
  1. Heat the oven to 375° F (190° C). Grease a 2-quart shallow baking dish liberally with butter.
  2. Stem and pit the cherries and lay them in a single layer in the baking dish.
  3. Working with a stand blender or an immersion blender and a bowl, blend the eggs, flour, extracts, 1/2 cup sugar, and milk together until smooth.
  4. Pour the batter over the cherries and sprinkle with remaining 3 tablespoons sugar.
  5. Bake the clafoutis until the custard is just set; a knife poked in the center should emerge relatively clean after about 45 minutes. Serve the clafoutis warm, at room temperature or cold. It can be made up to a day in advance and refrigerated overnight.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sarah BC
    Sarah BC
  • Nancy Lee
    Nancy Lee
  • Änneken
  • Frederique Matteau L.
    Frederique Matteau L.
  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel

14 Reviews

linengirl July 28, 2020
I took Judy’s advice as best I could (buttermilk, cream instead of milk, sauté cherries in butter and sugar), and added a bit of kirsch before dumping the batter over (instead of judy’s recommended lemon zest). Zowie! Utterly fantastic! Thank you to David Lebovitz (AGAIN) and thank you to Judy! This recipe goes immediately into my favorites box.
Van D. February 11, 2019
I make this recipe a lot, but never with cherries. I use strawberries, blueberries, and sometimes chocolate chips. One thing of note that I would suggest is to really lay into the mixture with the kitche aid. Don't hold back, and really whip the stuff. It helps.

Something else I like to do is to sprinkle the top with orange chocolate powder (hot cocoa mix is perfect) directly after removing from the oven. It adds depth, and flavor beyond the goodies you put in the dessert, or is even better if you are just making a plain clafoutis.
Magda September 16, 2018
The batter never baked - the recipe has too much milk - my keep kids were so disappointed
LizCo77 August 21, 2017
Totally delicious. I had a moment of panic when the batter seemed super watery, but it baked up beautifully. I made it exactly as written, although I was taking it to a dinner party and wanted to serve it hot, so I buttered the dish, pitted the cherries (with a chopstick, super easy) and put them in the pan, and then blended up the custard and put it in a container for transport. Stored it in their fridge until just before dinner and then baked it. A total hit!
Sarah B. August 1, 2017
Turned out perfectly! It comes out of the oven very puffed and golden. The puff does subside a tad, but the sugar sprinkled on top adds a touch of crispness.
JIm July 21, 2017
I mad ethi sand it turnes exactly as described and very tasty in deed. Now then, lets say that I wnat to make this in a somewhat smaller casserole dish but with the same amopunt of ingredients - a thicker version. Am I asking for trouble or no?
Nancy L. July 16, 2017
Can almond or coconut milk be used as a substitute?
Marilou June 26, 2017
I'd love to learn how to pit cherries with a bottle and a straw!
caninechef July 21, 2017
check youtube
judy June 26, 2017
Such is my devotion to this dessert when Washington Cherries become available, that I made it on our hottest day on record in about a decade!. It is a MUST on my calendar every year when Washington Cherries hit the stores. I like clafoutis with both Bing and Ranier cherries. My recipe is an amalgamation of several varieties, from Julia Child to Cat Cora. Julia has a lower egg to cream ratio and uses whole eggs. Cat separates her eggs, has a much higher egg content, and folds in the whipped whites to lighten up the batter. I like Julia method for batter better. But Cat adds the step of sauteeing the cherries in a little butter and sugar with grated lemon zest. Finally, from another recipe that used buttermilk, I now use a combination of buttermilk and cream, Julia's egg ratio and Cat's sauteed cherries and lemon zest. But no matter how one does it, it is one of the most delightful early summer desserts drawing on the summer bounty of fruit! I have recently learned about Savory Tomato Clafouti and will certainly try it with my garden tomatoes this summer. David's recipe is much like Julia's.
Frederique M. July 14, 2017
Isn't a savory Clafouti a simple Frittata?!
Paul G. July 22, 2017
Would you mind sharing your three inspirations recipe? Kind regards.
Änneken June 24, 2017
As a passionate custard and cherry lover clafoutis had been on my to-cook list forever. It's easy and fast to make and utterly delicious. In her description, Sarah Jampel was right (didn't doubt it): you gotta scoop from the middle and from the edges to get the full range of textures here. Yumm!
Sarah J. June 25, 2017
So glad you liked it!!