Clafoutis (Baked cherry custard)

Name: Paula Sullivan Souloumiac
Class Year: 1980
Country of Residence: France

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

Growing up in New Hampshire, much of our summer fruit was shipped up from warmer climates boasting shorter winters. This included cherries, which, back then, were rare, expensive, and delicious. I remember my mom coming home from the grocery store with a bag of cherries. She would divide them into three bowls: one for my brother, one for my sister and one for me. My love for cherries started there.

I married and settled in Paris in 1986. In France cherries are neither rare nor terribly expensive. Come June, cherry-based desserts are served everywhere. Clafoutis, a classic French cherry dessert that originated in the Limousin region is one of the most popular. Once I tasted it, I quickly learned to make it.

We moved to Auvergne seven years ago. When we visited the house we subsequently bought, I knew it was the place for me. In the yard was not one, but two cherry trees. One is a sour cherry, called “griotte.” The tartness of the fruit is perfect for clafoutis. But for cherry-lovers any cherry will do.


Serves  6 – 8 . Takes 10-15 minutes to prepare. 30-40 min to bake.


  • 125 g flour (1 cup)
  • 100 g sugar (½ cup)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • Butter
  • 400-500 g cherries (about a pound), preferably pitted


  1. Preheat oven to 240C° (450F°)
  2. Butter a large baking dish. Dust it with sugar the way you would flour a cake pan. This will keep the clafoutis from sticking to the dish.
  3. Spread the cherries across the bottom of the dish.
  4. Put the flour in a bowl and make a well by pushing the flour to the sides of the bowl.
  5. Put the sugar and a pinch of salt in the center, add the eggs one by one and mix with the sugar being careful not to mix in the flour.
  6. Begin to mix in the flour by stirring the sugar/egg mixture around the edges of the well catching a bit of flour as you stir. Add the milk progressively to the center as the batter thickens. (It takes a few minutes to mix in all the flour, but this prevents lumps from forming in the batter.)
  7. Pour the batter over the cherries. Dot with butter.
  8. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the center is done. Remove from the over and sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Serve warm or cold.
  10. The clafoutis rises as it bakes and then sinks when removed from the oven.
  11. The good news: the proportions for a clafoutis are not strict. You can add a third egg for a richer clafoutis, a bit more milk for a moister one or more flour for a larger one.

Cherry Pie One of my Cherry Trees



I use the recipe from Larousse, Les desserts

Leave a Reply

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