What is clafoutis?
Clafoutis is a traditional dessert from the region of Limousin, in Southwestern France. Cherries are placed in a buttered dish, topped with a flan-like batter and baked until the whole thing is puffed up and golden-brown. The dessert is rustic, but somehow irresistibly beautiful and ambrosial, which is perhaps why it has acquired such fame.
A little crunch and a little booze elevate this simple dessert to near perfection. Break out the Cognac!
Here’s my twist on this beloved classic: I make individual-sized clafoutis and sprinkle the tops with sliced almonds and sugar crystals for a delicious crunchy bite. Then I drizzle the clafoutis with Cognac just before serving them.
Made with sweet, meaty Bing cherries, every bite of these clafoutis is pure heaven.
Here’s another clafoutis you’ll love (see photo below)
Food & wine pairing: France, Beaumes-de-Venise with Cherry-almond clafoutis
A glass of chilled Beaumes-de-Venise, a dessert wine named after the picturesque village of Beaumes-de-Venise in southern France, is delightful with this dessert. It won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the cherries, and you’ll be tempted to continue sipping the delicious libation long after you’ve had your last spoonful of the clafoutis.
Cherry–almond clafoutis with Cognac
active time: 30 min
For the clafoutis base
- 1 cup sliced almonds (5 oz) (140 g)
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 extra large eggs
- 4 extra large egg yolks
- 1 cup organic sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- large pinch sea salt
For the fruits and topping
- 1 1/4 lbs (565 g) Bing cherries – pitted and left whole
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 1/3 cup Cognac
- vanilla ice cream
- 8 one-cup-capacity ramekins or 1 medium ceramic baking dish (13″ x 9″ x 3″) – buttered
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190ºC).
- Step 1: To make the custard – Place the almonds and flour in the bowl of a food processor and process for 1 to 2 minutes until very finely ground. Place the eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk until lightly blended. Add the sugar, cream, milk, vanilla extract, salt and ground almonds and whisk until well incorporated. Set aside.
- Step 2: Place the pitted cherries in the prepared molds. Drizzle with the custard. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds and the Turbinado sugar. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the tops are puffed and golden-brown. (If making one large clafoutis, bake for 45 to 50 minutes). Serve the clafoutis warm or at room temperature. Drizzle with the cognac, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and serve.
- Cook’s note: The clafoutis can be made up to 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. To serve, reheat at 375°F (190ºC) for 6 to 7 minutes until warm. If refrigerated, the tops will become soggy.