French Clafoutis – Baked Cherry Custard Dessert

French Clafoutis is a speciality from the Limousin region. It’s also one of my French Mother-in-law’s specialities and one of my husband’s favourite classic desserts. If we’re lucky enough to visit Antoine’s parents in Provence early summer, Madeleine proudly rustles up her baked dark cherry custard dessert with cherries freshly plucked from the orchard at the bottom of the garden.

But after twenty years, I finally plucked up the courage to make this ridiculously easy pudding at home. Why did I wait so long to make it? Perhaps, I dare say, because it was a bit heavy – especially as I prefer lighter desserts. Could Belle Maman really discover I’d slightly changed her recipe?

baked cherry custard dessert - French clafoutis

French Clafoutis

So many clafoutis recipes call for pitted cherries. Like it’s traditionally made in the Limousin, Madeleine normally throws in the whole cherries as they are and most of us politely dispose of the stones at the table. I say most of us, as Antoine – in his more natural Corsican style – rocks on the back of his chair, plotting his target as he catapults and projects them less than delicately into the garden – “Heh, je plante!”, he shrugs at us all.  It’s his Corsican sense of humour of saying he’s planting cherry trees. Oh, pl-ease!

I may mock but whole, unpitted cherries do keep in their flavour, and it’s far quicker than standing over the kitchen table with dark cherry-stained hands looking like Jack (or Jill) the Ripper. So just throw them in as they are naturally then get the family to do the gardening at the table. Otherwise pit them if you prefer, especially if you have a cherry stone extractor as part of your kitchen gadgetry.

This almond-topped clafoutis has been tried, tested and approved by Antoine, Julie and Lucie. Just don’t tell his Mum.

French clafoutis easy recipe


The almond topping idea is pinched from my friend, Véronique (merci!). You could replace the almond extract with a tablespoon of Kirsch or Amaretto liqueur for a more adult version.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes


500g fresh black cherries, washed, not pitted

For the mould (china or earthenware dish):
10g butter
10g sugar

70g plain flour
good pinch of salt (fleur de sel)
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 medium eggs, organic
1 egg yolk
80g sugar
270g full-cream milk
25g butter, melted
few drops of almond extract (optional)
25g silvered almonds (optional, for garnish)

Pouring French clafoutis batter on to cherries

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (gas 4). Butter an ovenproof china or pyrex dish (22cm diameter and 5cm deep) large enough to hold the cherries in a single layer.  Sprinkle in the sugar, shaking it all around so that it coats the surface of the dish and place the cherries in it.

2. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl.  Add the eggs and yolk and, using a balloon whisk, mix well until the mixture is smooth.  Continue whisking adding the milk, almond extract and melted butter. Pour over the cherries.

French clafoutis before baking

3. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until browned. Toast the flaked almonds in a non-stick frying pan for a few minutes on medium heat until they’re golden and sprinkle on the Clafoutis with a dusting of icing/confectioner’s sugar.

Serve warm directly from the dish.

French clafoutis cherry baked custard dessert

Don’t forget to join me on Instagram (or Facebook), where I’m having fun posting shots from day to day around Paris – from the market, to chocolate and pastry walks, to views of Paris, to mad family life.

French Clafoutis Cherry custard dessert

French Clafoutis

Feeling daring? Why not try out these savoury asparagus French Clafoutis recipes as a summery supper dish?

White Asparagus Clafoutis
Asparagus, Mint & Pea Gluten-Free Clafoutis

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11 replies
  1. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    The thing I like about the French versions is you don’t have to pit the cherries. I find the cherry pitting is the most work. Looks like we’ll be having many more clafoutis now.

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      So glad you’ll be making more of this, Sandra. And to top it, clafoutis with cherry stones has more flavour!

  2. Christina @ Christina's Cucina
    Christina @ Christina's Cucina says:

    I have made one clafoutis in my life and it was horrible! It’s actually put me off every making one again, but your photos are enticing me to try one more time! I even showed my French friend, who agreed! It must have been a bad recipe I used.

    I’ll let you know if I do give it another go! Thanks, Jill!

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Oh please do make this and let me know how it goes, Christina. I hate stodgy floury versions and too eggy – this one has been tried and tested many times and it’s how we much prefer it …

  3. Jill Colonna
    Jill Colonna says:

    Thanks also for your lovely comments and shares on social media. It has been wonderful to see it being made again via my friends on Instagram. Bon weekend x

  4. Liz
    Liz says:

    Gorgeous clafoutis, Jill! I think your MIL would be proud, but I’ll let YOU tell her 😉 And giggling at your Antoine tossing out his pits to the garden–I know my boys would be happy to join in.

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Thanks, Liz. I giggle too at Antoine tossing them into the garden. Not giggling as much today to discover my geraniums covered in cherry stones! Yep – can you imagine him being the ring-leader with your boys? Catastrophe. 😀

  5. Parisbreakfast
    Parisbreakfast says:

    I had to stop reading, get up and go get a handful of cherries to eat while reading the rest of this yummy post. Great minds etc..I just did a cerises post too!
    My favorite fruit and love cloufouti though it’s near impossible to spell and pronounce.

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Loved your post about the cherries on the cake and your lovely watercolours, Carol. OK, say Cla-foot-ie. See? Easy.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] dessert, we’re no strangers to the popular Clafoutis.  Normally made with cherries (click my Cherry Clafoutis Recipe here), it’s lovely to experiment with other seasonal fruits. As we can more or less find […]

  2. […] According to Jill, it’s a “must eat” if you find yourself in the area in the summer “since it brings out the flavours of dark cherries at this time of year and is appreciated at home served simply or dressed up for all sorts of restaurants as a French classic.  Other versions exist using peaches, mirabelles, apricots etc. but there’s nothing to beat this dessert with good old dark cherries – and with the stones. However, I’ve been playing with a couple of different savoury asparagus clafoutis – would recommend trying out these variations too for a light supper.” Find Jill’s recipe for the classic cherry clafoutis here. […]


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