Black Cherry Clafoutis

Black Cherry ClafoutisMost recipe posts originate from a personal memory, feeling or special moment. This recipe post is slightly different. It has evolved after being inspired by a single ingredient.  

In this fast-paced modern world where almost every food is available regardless of seasonality, the availability of black cherries when not in season is a special rarity.  So imagine my surprise when I discovered an abundance of the dark purple jewels at the farmers market.

Black Cherry ClafoutisBlack Cherry ClafoutisThe cherries were juicy, perfectly ripe and accompanied by their familiar intoxicating sweet aroma. Cherries truly are a seasonal summer fruit that cannot be grown year round… so let me disclose that the cherries were not cheap. It has been a long time since I last saw perfect cherries trickle their way into markets and stores, so I was determined not to let this cherry opportunity pass.

There is no better way to celebrate the dark and elusive beauty of black cherries than with a french clafoutis. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of a clafoutis, consider it as part custard and part cake. Don’t let the tricky name scare you off though, the recipe is actually incredibly simple… the hardest part is pitting the cherries!

Black Cherry ClafoutisBlack Cherry ClafoutisFrench traditionalists (a la Julia Child, Larousse Gastronomique) assert that the proper way to make a clafoutis is to use the whole cherry. This prevents the cherries leaking away their potent juices and the almond flavoured pits are also said to add a further intensity to the pastry-less cake.

Rebelling against the traditional, I pitted my cherries as I love the way they burst, swell and ooze their deep purples hues through the sweet and eggy custard.  When hot out of the oven, the eggy clafoutis is surrounded by crisp edges and impressively puffs into a golden soufflé esque dome before inevitably collapsing into a soft, custard like pancake.

Black Cherry Clafoutis

Fresh cherries on hand or not, a clafoutis can be made all year round with a multitude of in season fruits and still retain the same deep and luxurious flavour. My rendition is also flavoured with kirsch liqueur which adds an extra layer of sinful to the sweet cherry flavour.

It took every ounce of self-control not to devour the skillet-full whilst photographing. This black cherry clafoutis is irresistible…and always commands an impressive “ooh la la” when presented! I guarantee you will love this recipe as much as I do.

Black Cherry Clafoutis
Serves 6
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For the cherries
  1. 3 cups of dark cherries, pitted
  2. 150ml kirsch liqueur
  3. 100 grams caster sugar
For the custard base
  1. 1 tbsp butter, room temperature
  2. 1 1/2 cups full fat milk
  3. 4 large eggs, room temperature
  4. 3/4 cup caster sugar
  5. 2/3 cup plain flour, sifted
  6. 1/4 tsp salt
  7. 1 tsp vanilla essence
  1. Two hours before cooking, combine the pitted cherries with sugar and liqueur and let macerate.
  2. Preheat an oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  3. Grease a 10" cast iron skillet or your choice of baking dish with butter.
  4. With an electric mixer on low speed combine the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in a bowl. Add the sifted flour and mix to combine. Let the mixture sit for up to ten minutes, or until slightly thickened and bubbles have subsided.
  5. Pour 1/3 of the batter into the skillet and bake for up to 10 minutes or until the top is beginning to set.
  6. Remove from the oven and and stud the custard with the macerated cherries.
  7. Carefully pour the remaining batter oven the top of the cherries.
  8. Bake for a further 20-30 minutes or until puffed, golden and the edges are beginning to crisp.
  9. Remove from oven, let set slightly and serve warm.
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking
butter and brioche
 Black Cherry Clafoutis

  • FoodGeekGraze May 19, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    cherries, check. clafoutis, check. yummy overdrive! can’t wait for the season to start. this bake is sooo happening 🙂

  • Gin October 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Your photos are so striking! A real feast for the eyes.

  • Kacey @ The Cookie Writer September 3, 2014 at 12:27 am

    As soon as I saw this dish I knew I was going to make it! However, I had no cherries so I subbed in rhubarb. It turned out lovely, except definitely not as vibrant looking as the cherries! Rhubarb isn’t as pretty as cherries it seems 🙂

  • Farrah August 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Not gonna lie, my jaw dropped when your page finished loading. Everything looks so delicious and stunning! (I’m having a really hard time deciding which to attempt to recreate first, haha.)

  • Sharon @ what the fork food blog August 20, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Wow this looks amazing! I LOVE cherries, hate the price though. It’s totally worth splurging on them to make this 🙂

  • traditionallymodernfood August 19, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Yummy love it

  • Dana @ 3boysunprocessed August 19, 2014 at 3:10 am

    Stunning pictures! Love cherries and always looking for new recipes to use them in different ways. Thanks!

  • Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner August 18, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    I’ve never heard of a clafoutis, but it looks so yummy and I’d love to try it. 🙂

  • Krystle(Baking Beauty) August 18, 2014 at 2:45 am

    I’ve never heard of clafoutis. However, part custard/cake sounds amazing! If we don’t have black cherries, do you think regular ones would work?

  • GourmetGetaways August 17, 2014 at 8:05 am

    This looks so delicious!! I made a cherry and white chocolate clafoutis and loved this dessert. Seeing yours has reminded me how delicious they are! Also I have to say, your images are just beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Gourmet Getaways

  • Stephanie @ long distance Baking August 16, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I’ve never had a clafoutis before, but your description made me crave one RIGHT NOW. This is gorgeous!

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef August 16, 2014 at 8:17 am

    That’s a stunning dessert. I’ve never made one as good as my French grandmother so I’m going to try your recipe. Maybe my Ma Mère left something out just to be tricky. 🙂

  • Emily August 15, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try a clafoutis. Yours looks gorgeous!

  • Ella-HomeCookingAdventure August 15, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Looks totally irresistible. Your clafoutis is perfect, love the photos too, mouthwatering indeed.

  • Ernesta @BakingSecrets August 15, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    This is just perfect!!!! I’ll definitely try this! My hubby loves cherries. I’ll make a nice surprise for him 🙂

  • Mira August 15, 2014 at 2:18 am

    I lov cherries and sadly haven’t cooked anything with them this summer. I love the recipe! Thanks for introducing clafoutis to me :), will try to make it soon 🙂

  • Cynthia August 14, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I absolutely love your photos for this recipe, especially how you capture the deep rich color of the cherries, while still keeping the overall photography light and cheery. Adding this to my list of recipes to try!

  • Alex @ DelishKnowledge August 13, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    I cannot get enough of cherries this year! I’ve honestly never made a clafoutis before, baking always gets the best of me because you actually have to measure ingredients <— the worst! But this recipe doesn't seem too bad 😉 Perfect August dessert!

  • Ludmilla August 13, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Beautiful photos!! And I LOVE brioche!! 🙂

  • lISA AT CELEBRATE CREATIVITY August 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    This is such a beautiful looking recipe. Your photography is mouth-watering too. So glad I popped over.

    It’s a pleasure to browse around. So glad I stopped by.

    Hope you have a lovely day,


  • Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice August 13, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    What a beautiful dessert! I absolutely love that you used black cherries. And your pictures are gorgeous!

  • Muna Kenny August 13, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Cherries are in season here and are so juicy and sweet, it’s the perfect time to try your Cherry Clafouits. Love your clicks 🙂

  • Hotly Spiced August 13, 2014 at 4:02 am

    This is a very pretty clafoutis. I’m very much looking forward to cherry season.

  • Russell from Chasing Delicious August 13, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Such a lovely dish! And fantastic recipe. Yum!

  • Jessica | A Happy food dance August 13, 2014 at 1:54 am

    This looks so delicious! And I’m totally for pitting the cherries too! Beautiful!

  • Heather @ Shards of Lavender August 13, 2014 at 1:25 am

    What a gorgeously elegant dessert! Your photographs are amazing too… Just beautiful!

  • Sherri@The Well Floured Kitchen August 13, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Cherries are my favorite fruit, and totally worth the price premium. I love the look of your clafoutis in the cast iron pan- pinned!

  • Sarah@WholeAndHeavenlyOven August 12, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    I love clafoutis! They’re so simple, yet so summery and irresistible! This looks absolutely beautiful, Thaila. I want to gobble up all those gorgeous black cherries!
    P.S. LOVE your photos!

  • kristie@birchandwild August 12, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    I have never had clafoutis before, but this looks so good I am going to make one soon. Thank you for the introduction to this dessert!

  • Vera August 12, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Thalia, I followed you back from my site and am very glad I got to know you this way – your blog is beautiful and I think i want to make everything here!
    Last year I made a clafoutis with gooseberries and that was a great fruit for it, too ( And I also once made a savory version with cherry tomatoes, but for some reason, never yet the classic one with cherries – it’s about time!

  • Jessica @ Jessica in the Kitchen August 12, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    What a beautiful clafoutis! You have such darling photos :).

  • sharon@bitesncrumbs August 12, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Great photographs… Makes me wanna bake a clafoutis right now 🙂

  • Sophie August 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Oh you rebel 🙂 Love it! Wow this is one of the prettiest clafoutis I have ever seen. Amazing colors!

  • Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen August 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Wow! This is so beautiful – like art! I love, love, love the photos too – makes me want to eat it! Haha! Pinned!

  • Lilli August 12, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Clafoutis is one of my favourite desserts! This looks so delicious 🙂

  • BusyWorkingMama August 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    This looks wonderful! It would be perfect for a dinner party – so fancy!

  • Arpita@ The Gastronomic Bong August 12, 2014 at 11:42 am

    How gorgeous is that!? I have never made clafoutis before.. This is definitely on my list.. Love it! 🙂

  • MyMansBelly August 12, 2014 at 11:19 am

    This Clafoutis looks divine! Your photos are fantastic. I wanted to lick my screen.

  • Tash August 12, 2014 at 7:18 am

    I still can’t get over just how perfect this is!

  • Matt @ plating pixels August 12, 2014 at 5:37 am

    This looks super yummy! I bet is was a lot of work pitting the cherries, but worth it. A cherry pitter has been on my list. I love your rustic and elegant photography, and skillets are amazing for any recipe.

    • thalia August 12, 2014 at 7:44 am

      thanks Matt!

  • Anna (Hidden Ponies) August 12, 2014 at 4:12 am

    Oh, those cherries are gorgeous. I love being inspired by a stunning food like that, and am totally impressed that you held off devouring them – looks like it was worth it!

  • Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods August 12, 2014 at 2:52 am

    I love cherries and this looks absolutely delicious! Love your photos 😀

  • Sues August 12, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Blueberry clafoutis was the first dessert I learned to make really well. But I think cherry clafoutis is the very best. This is beautiful!

    • thalia August 12, 2014 at 2:29 am

      love it, never made a blueberry clafoutis before. definitely something i need to try!

  • Manju @ Manju's Eating Delights August 12, 2014 at 2:00 am

    I love using cherries in baking. Had made a cherry and nectarine cobbler just the other day, wanna give this calouftis a try sometime. Thanks a lot for visiting my space, had no idea it was winter in Australia 😉


    • thalia August 12, 2014 at 2:30 am

      do let me know if you try the recipe manju!

  • Danielle August 12, 2014 at 12:47 am

    Beautiful pictures! The cherries look so delicious and gorgeous in this dish.

  • Liz August 12, 2014 at 12:03 am

    The cherries were SO sweet this year! I made a clafoutis last summer, but now your photo makes me wish I had baked another! Gorgeous!

  • Emma August 11, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Your photos are gorgeous! I love a classic cherry clafoutis and nice addition of kirsch too.

    And although it’s not traditional, I can’t deal with whole cherries in desserts! Pitted cherries for sure.

  • katie August 11, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    What a gorgeous clafoutis! The black cherries are totally worth the splurge; they are such a treat when you find good ones while in season. Good idea to leave the pits out!

  • Jules August 11, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    I just made Dutch Babies this weekend, and this sounds very similar to them! I think a clafoutis is a more intricate version of a dutch baby… whatever you want to call it, it sounds perfect!

    • thalia August 12, 2014 at 2:30 am

      very similar to a dutch baby jules!

  • JOyti August 11, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Those black cherries look gorgeous. And I adore clafoutis, and you’ve got such a delicious thick layer of them here. YUM!

  • kristy @ the wicked noodle August 11, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Oh Thalia, this cherry clafoutis is absolutely stunning! You really did those perfect cherries justice.

    • thalia August 12, 2014 at 2:31 am

      thanks kristy!

  • Mike @TheIronYou August 11, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Those cherries look amazing and so does the clafoutis. Another great recipe T!

    • thalia August 11, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      thanks Mike!

  • la domestique August 11, 2014 at 10:58 am

    The first thing I make with summer cherries is always a clafoutis. I absolutely love it. Yours looks heavenly!

  • Kelly - Life Made Sweeter August 11, 2014 at 8:55 am

    This clafoutis is beautiful, Thalia! I can’t get enough cherries lately and they look amazing in here 🙂

  • Lisa H. August 11, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Beautiful stunning photos of clafoutis 😀

  • Crystal | Apples & Sparkle August 11, 2014 at 5:10 am

    I just love the color of black cherry juice. This clafoutis is beautiful. : )

  • Jessica @ Sweet Menu August 11, 2014 at 3:30 am

    What a gorgeous recipe! I know my family would just love this!

  • Medha @ Whisk & Shout August 11, 2014 at 1:52 am

    This is gorgeous! I just bought a cast iron pan today… can’t wait to put it to use 🙂

  • Amy @ Parsley in my teeth August 11, 2014 at 12:14 am

    What a beautiful dish! I’ve also seen a profusion of beautiful dark cherries lately and their jewel-like shape and color are enticing! You’ve certainly done them justice with this amazing recipe!

  • Katherine August 10, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    I had actually never heard of clafoutis before, but I HAD to check it out! Your pictures are stunning as per usual! My mom absolutely loves cherries, and she’s now hinting for me to make this for her birthday on Thursday! I think you’ve made her day xx

  • Danielle | Krafted Koch August 10, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    This looks fantastic! I need to make this for my mom, she is obsessed with cherries and would love this!

  • Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron August 10, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    That’s interesting that traditionalists leave the cherry pit in- what a pain to be spitting them out while you eat! This looks absolutely delicious, I have never made a Clafoutis but maybe it’s time for me to give it a try!

  • Karen-2Teaspoons August 10, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    This recipe looks amazing! Beautiful photos and a delicious way of using seasonal cherries. I agree about pitting the cherrie too. I think the deep purples hues make it look delicious and rustic, and it’s soooo much easier to eat 🙂

  • La Cuisine d'helene August 10, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    I have never made Clafoutis before. This is gorgeous!

  • Nora @ Savory Nothings August 10, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Looks and sounds gorgeous! And I think it’s absolutely justifiable to spend lots and lots of money on fresh cherries – they’re only available for a few months every year after all!

  • June August 10, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I have to admit, I did not know what Clafoutis was. After reading about it, I want to make one.

  • marcie August 10, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I have yet to try making a clafoutis, and I can’t wait to whip one up, especially after this post! This looks amazing, Thalia, and I love all of those beautiful cherries. 🙂

  • Carrie Pacini August 10, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Your Black Cherry Clafoutis looks lovely!

  • cheri August 10, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Oh this looks delicious, love desserts cooked in a skillet. Did not realize that this was custardy like in texture, now it sounds even better……..

  • Yulia August 10, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I love the way you write and your pictures are stunning. Would you recommend to use canned/jared cherries or are they too liquid for the recipe?

    • thalia August 10, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      i have never used canned cherries before, the only other variety i have used a frozen. can cherries can still work as long as they’re drained before hand… the liquid might actually look quite good!

  • Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy August 10, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Beautiful photos! I love cherry desserts – especially in the summer when cherries are so ripe.

  • cristina August 10, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    So beautiful with all those dark red cherry jewels. I want to run out and find some cherries and make this clafoutis!

  • Lindsey @ AMerican Heritage Cookin August 10, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I’ve never made or eaten a clafoutis, which is surprising considering the time I spent in France! I’ve always been kind of skeptical of the texture, but you describe it beautifully! I must make it soon before cherries go out of season here!

  • Immaculate August 10, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Thalia, the way you lay out the cherries , I just want to jump right in and grab a handful. I can’t believe the season is coming to an end.

  • Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ August 10, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I believe you when you say this is irresistible! It really looks like a magnificent treat. Like you, I would prepare it with pitted cherries.

  • Lauren August 10, 2014 at 7:44 am

    This dessert looks stunning! And your website is gorgeous 🙂

  • Martyna @ Wholesome Cook August 10, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Hi Thalia,
    Your Clafoutis looks superb! I’m a big fan of cherries and can’t wait for summer again – we have a friend in Young, Australia’s cherry capital so we are always blessed with an abundance of fresh, perfectly plump and ripe cherries.

  • Nagi {REcipetin eats} August 10, 2014 at 7:17 am

    stunning. I have nothing else to say. Oh wait – except d@mn it, cherries aren’t in season here in Aus!!

  • Elaine August 10, 2014 at 7:11 am

    I can image the juice of the black berries combining into the Clafoutis. Ps, Love the wonderful photos.

  • Sarah@RunningOnBrie August 10, 2014 at 3:38 am

    I’ve never tried a clafoutis, but I’m definitely inspired to try one now. These are really beautiful pics- and delicious looking dish!

  • Christin@SpicySouthernKitchen August 10, 2014 at 2:39 am

    Those cherries are gorgeous! I’ve never made a clafoutis before. Must put this recipe on my list to try!

  • shelley @ Bacon Egg & Cheese{cake} August 10, 2014 at 12:27 am

    I’v never had clafoutis before, but this is easily like the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all day! Not fond of cherries myself but would love to try this out with blackberries…

  • Helen @ Scrummy Lane August 10, 2014 at 12:10 am

    I’ve heard of a clafoutis before, but didn’t know that they were ‘custardy’. Mmmm … they sound so delicious! Anything that hails from the French has my vote, especially with beautiful cherries in it.
    I love the idea of being able to make this with any in-season fruit. Me sees one of these in my near future!

  • Caroline @ Shrinking Single August 9, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Yummo. Can’t wait for the summer fruits to start arriving in the stores. I love cherries but raspberries are my absolute favourite.

  • Lisa | Sweet 2 Eat Baking August 9, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Oh wow, this looks so gorgeous, Thalia. I absolutely adore cherries, you really cannot beat fresh cherries – they’re the best. My kids know my love for cherries when they were brining me stolen cherries in their pockets home from school. There’s a cherry tree on the school grounds, hehe.

    This looks so perfect. I think I’d rebel and pit the cherries too. Pinning.

  • PASSTHEKNIFE August 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Classy and beautiful.

  • Claudia ~ Food with a View August 9, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    This looks and sounds amazing, a pefect summer cake!

  • Aleisha August 9, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Oh my! This looks stunning and delicious!

  • Chelsea @ A Duck's Oven August 9, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    This is so beautiful! I made my first clafoutis a few months ago with raspberries and fell head over heels. I can’t wait to try your recipe with black cherries!

    • thalia August 9, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      never thought of using raspberries, definitely a great idea!

  • Baby June August 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    That sounds awesome! I love clafoutis, this version looks great 🙂

  • Meinhilde August 9, 2014 at 11:57 am

    This looks so good! I devour cherries when they are in season, and can barely stand to do anything with them, other than eat them fresh. But this recipe might change that!

  • Angie (@angiesrecipess) August 9, 2014 at 10:40 am

    This looks beyond delicious! I am eating some juicy sweet cherries now…need to get more to make this clafoutis too.

  • Shiran @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet. August 9, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I just wanted to make my own cherry clafoutis this week! Yours looks so delicious!!