Cherry clafoutis is a traditional French cake from the Limousin region of France. The classic recipe is made with a pancake or flan batter. You can either use self-raising flour or plain flour and baking powder. Traditionally, black cherries are used in the clafoutis but you can also make it with most other fruits. It also works well with red cherries, plums, pears or soft summer fruits (e.g. raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.).
The word clafoutis comes from the Occitan verb clafir which means to fill. If fruit other than cherries are used then the clafoutis becomes a flaugnarde. Flaugnarde comes from the Occitan word flaunhard which means “soft” or “downy”. In the traditional French dish, the cherry stones are not removed as they contain an element called amygdalin which is found in almonds and they therefore add an almond flavour to the cake. It is your choice entirely whether you leave the stones in or not. Personally I prefer to take them out.
The cherries are softened for 5 minutes in the oven before the batter is poured over and the cake is baked.
It would also to be possible to cook this cake on the stove if you don’t have an oven. For a gluten-free version, see this gluten-free pear cake.
60g plain flour + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder OR 60g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CHERRIES:
300 cherries, pitted
1 tablespoon sugar
icing sugar for dusting the cake with
butter or oil for greasing the cake tin
Heat the oven to 180ºC – 200ºC.
Beat the eggs with a whisk. Beat in the milk and then add the flour (and baking powder if using), sugar and vanilla extract and mix well.
Grease a cake tin and then arrange the cherries on the bottom of the tin. Cook the cherries in the oven for 5 minutes to soften.
Pour over the batter mix and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Check the cake after 15 minutes and turn the tin through 180º so that it cooks evenly.
Take out of the oven once the cake has cooked and leave to cool slightly. Dust the top with icing sugar. The cake is best served warm with cream if you like.