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Cherry Vanilla Clafoutis

Cherry Vanilla Clafoutis

In this recipe, a vanilla-scented custard works exquisitely with sweetly tart cherries, creating an elegant yet easy to eat dessert perfect for easing into the long, lazy summer days ahead.
By Sarah Schiffman

Here in Seattle, summer sort up sneaks up on us. It quietly tiptoes in with asparagus and rhubarb in late spring and trails slowly with the faint glow of sun lingering later and later on the night’s horizon. Every day our windows open a little wider and slowly but surely we peel off our sweaters, shed our rain boots, and begin to bare our skin to match the quiet rise of the thermometer.

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When it comes to savoring the first tastes of summer, I find myself turning to the Clafoutis, a traditional French dessert that serves as a catch-all for any summer bounty you decide to throw its way. In this recipe, the vanilla-scented custard works exquisitely with the sweetly tart cherries, winding itself around the fruit and following it to the plate, creating an elegant yet easy to eat dessert perfect for easing into the long, lazy summer days ahead.

Cherry Vanilla Clafoutis
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Julia Child's original recipe for Cherry Clafoutis needs little doctoring but over the years I've found myself craving just a touch more vanilla. In this adaptation I've added the seeds from a vanilla bean as well as a splash of almond extract which, I find, allows the vanilla undertones to really stand out.
Serves: up to 8
  • 1 ¼ cups (295ml) milk
  • ⅓ cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup (64g) flour
  • 8 oz pitted cherries
  • ⅓ cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • Powdered sugar for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees ( 176 C). Butter an 8 cup fireproof baking dish or 4 individual ramekin dishes.
  2. In a blender add the milk, ⅓ cup (67g) of sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, salt, and flour. Using a paring knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the blender and blend until well combined.
  3. Pour a ¼ inch layer of the batter into the prepared baking dish and place into the oven until a firm film of batter sets in the pan.
  4. Remove from heat and spread a layer of cherries over the batter. Sprinkle the second ⅓ cup (67g) of sugar over the cherries and pour in the remaining batter.
  5. Continue to bake at 350 degrees (176 C) for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The clafouti is done when puffy and lightly browned and a knife placed into the center comes out clean.
  6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.

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