A monument in the French culinary tradition: Le clafoutis aux cerises!

Clafoutis aux cerises

There are two types of pastries. The kind that only proper pastry chefs and pastry nuts should attempt like a Baba or a proper Paris Brest and the kind that I or indeed most people can easily make like apple pie, chocolate charlotte or in this case clafoutis.

Cherries

People make clafoutis with all sorts of fruits these days. The original is made with cherries! Clafoutis (also called millard) is a specialty of the Auvergne and Limousin regions of France. The name comes from an old Occitan word meaning “filling”.

The recipe is quite simple and is basically the “flan” recipe with cherries added. You are going to think I am obsessed with my grandmothers after so many posts that include their recipes, but this on comes from my great grandmother Manée (in the picture) who was even more of a foodie than me. She is quite a legend in our family. If someone says “this was as good as Manée’s” or “Manée couldn’t have made it better”, you just received the greatest compliment there is for any wannabe cook in our clan. “Almost as good as Manée’s” is already a sign of great respect towards one’s cooking abilities :0) I will make her legendary crêpes for you guys someday…

ManéeClafoutis aux cerisesClafoutis aux cerisesClafoutis aux cerisesClafoutis aux cerises

These directions are for an 11 inch pie plate as pictured here. Ideal for 5 or 6 people:

  1. Clean about 2 pounds of cherries. Take the stems off, but keep the seeds in! Dispose the cherries in the pan as shown in the pictures here. They should touch each other.
  2. Put two egg yolks in a bowl with 100g of sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon for about two minutes.
  3. Add one whole egg and stir vigorously with a whisk.
  4. Add 100g of softened butter (unsalted), 100g of flour and stir hard with the wooden spoon.
  5. Add 25cl of whole milk, two tablespoons of dark rhum or kirsch, a small teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoon of vanilla extract and 2 of orange blossom extract. Whisk really well. It is OK if it looks a little lumpy as if the eggs or the milk had turned!
  6. Pour the mix over the cherries and insert in the oven – 35 minutes at 360°F

Note: the traditional recipe requires that the seeds are left in the fruit. A French cook would never dare take them out by fear of loosing any kind of credibility :0)

Clafoutis aux cerises

 

101 comments

  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing the authentic le clafoutis recipe, nowadays there are lots of recipes, which sometime don’t work!
    Have you ever used pitted cherries in clafoutis?

    • Thank you. No, I haven’t and I would not recommend it. The juice would get in the mix and mess everything up. In addition, the essential oils in the pits give the clafoutis its very specific taste. I hope you make it and enjoy it as much as I do.

  2. Your photographs are beautiful! I have always wanted to make this, perhaps I will attempt it soon! I will have to remove the pits, because I will be sharing it with my one year old. I’m excited to try it!

    • Hi Ashlee. Do like we do. Cook the pie properly with the pits and remove them before you serve it to the child. This way they will taste the proper thing. ;) I know he/she will absolutely love it. You are such a caring mom!

  3. Quand nous chanterons le temps des cerises
    Et gai rossignol et merle moqueur
    Seront tous en fête.
    Les belles auront la folie en tête
    Et les amoureux du soleil au cœur.
    Quand nous chanterons le temps des cerises
    Sifflera bien mieux le merle moqueur.

    Votre clafoutis est très appétissant ! Bel article avec de belles photos

  4. I just had my very first clafoutis aux pommes the other week. These are delicious! I’d like to try to make this one as cherries are currently in season!

  5. Love clafoutis! I make it grain-free, and though it isn’t quite authentic, it still tastes delicious.

    Your photos are so lovely. You truly capture the beauty of French cooking. Thank you.

  6. I’ve been wanting to try clafoutis for long time, but the rookie version – without cherry pits – sounds preferable!

    Since you’re living in France, have you been able to try Comoran cuisine?

    • I’ve never tried Comoran cuisine, but I would LOVE to! You guys are, after all, the masters of seafood; and seafood is my favorite thing to cook and eat…

  7. Lovely Manee – she’s the picture of elegance with her wispy bun and her lovely earrings – focused on her task. I can just imagine what a wonderful cook she is. And isn’t cherry clafoutis just the most classic dessert?!

    • You know I’m not even a huge fan of cherries, but I must say that I LOVE them in a clafoutis ;) Childhood experiences must make it special to my subconscious mind…

  8. Ooooh! That looks so good. Pity cherries are so expensive her, with such a brief season. No need to apologise for mentions of grandparents. I had a super relationship with mine, and talk of them often. Poor people, but with such great big hearts and a wealth of knowledge. I respect people who keep in touch with their past.

    • Very important indeed my dear Dorothy. All I want is honor their memory and keep the tradition alive…

  9. All I can do is join the choir to be amazed with the beautiful pictures – love the one where the icing sugar is snowing onto the clafoutis. Really beautiful. As is the pastry!

    • My friend Segolène was pouring the sugar from above. I had her spend so much time with her arm in the air that she developed a cramp in her arm :) Thanks for your lovely comment Sabine! It really means a lot!

    • That’s great Jude! Cooking with MY mama is one of my favorite things in the world. Have fun and let me know how it goes!!!

  10. Wow, Stephane, that looks fabulous! I’m bookmarking this one so I can make it when we have decent cherries in the shops here (the birds have eaten all of ours already).

  11. So these are dark e.g. sweet cherries? Year ago I had the opportunity to pick sour cherries that are much more red/scarlet. One of the best memories of my childhood. Again, merci beaucoup for such a lovely blog.

    • You are very kind and very welcome indeed! The cherries I used this time come from Moissac between Bordeaux and Toulouse.

  12. I love Clafoutis, there is an art to getting it just right. Your Manee reminds me of my Great Grandmother Rosa, she was a legendary cook, never used a recipe, it was instinctual. I never met her personally but I felt like I did because she was the topic of conversation at many a meal, comparing the dish presented to what she made. I heard that you NEVER remove the cherry pits, I must try this recipe, it looks simply perfect and the photo of Manee is just beautiful and I very much look forward to her recipe for crepes.

    • Great cooks like Rosa never use recipes. I must admit I have to follow recipes sometimes, simply because I have a terrible memory. Sometimes they are my own recipes if you can believe that. There are also dishes that I have to make regularly so I don’t forget the “tour de main”. To me it’s all about feeling than exact replicas of recipes. I hate rules as a rule ;)

    • I am so glad you like this Angelina! Manée would be happy to know that people around the world will try her pie this week ;)

  13. Now you have me drooling. Your clafoutis looks superb, your Grandmother would be proud. I’ve decided that while I consider you to be a brilliant photographer, you really are an adept stylist!!

    • Ha ha, you should have seen my friend Segolène trying to hold the strainer full of sugar at the appropriate hight above the pan. I repaid her with a nice piece of the coveted pie ;)

    • I am so glad dear Jodi! Thank you for coming so often to visit me on my French heaven. I do all this for epicureans like you ;)

  14. Your photos are so beautiful! I have been travelling your region and savouring all the gorgeous fruits in season, especially the berries, cherries and peaches. I wanted to thank you, as we visited Domme today on your suggestion and found it both spectacular and charming :)

    • I am so glad Sam!! I just regret that you won’t come further this way… Enjoy the rest of you vacation! Domme is indeed a magical little place. Did you have lunch at l’Esplanade?!

  15. I can’t decide which I like better – the photographs or the prospect of making one of these. As you are sitting around the table, do you nicely remove the pits onto your spoon and neatly arrange on your plate? Or spit onto the floor with gusto? Ms. Manners needs to know!

    • We rarely serve this kind of pie at a dinner. It is more of a summer picnic or afternoon tea type of dessert. Something kids love to make and eat. Therfore, we just spit the pits discretely in our fists and either place them on the side of the plate or in the grass if it’s a picnic or a leisurely summer lunch outside…

  16. If this is as good as your photos make it look, it must be a real winner. I just bought cherries, so after a bit of pitting I’ll get started on this and find out.

    • Lulu, Lulu… Just saying your name cheers me up. If I ever adopt a girl, I will call her Lulu for sure. Anyway, do try the recipe. Just make sure you leave the pits in. It’s tradition and it really gives a special taste to the dish… ;)

  17. So beautiful pictures once again! I was actually thinking few days ago that I want to prepare some cherry clafoutis, and now I really need to give it a try!

    • You really do Elina! You won’t regret it. I’d use dark rhum instead of Kirsh if I were you. I find it tastier…

  18. I love reading about your grandmothers….I m like you…..I m also doing a project on my grandfathers life…..remembering yours grandparents is like going back to ones roots…
    Yumm”…beautiful photographs…I m going to try this recipe…I m a Vegiteranian…so hard to try French food……but shall try the desserts….

  19. Whaaaat?!!! Oh my gosh… that’s it. You have GOT to publish a book on photography. I absolutely love your writing and recipes with every post and I have never seen such gorgeous photographs. I could take any one of the them and frame it for my walls! Okay… ahem. I’m done. :)

    • Well my dear Julie, I’ve had many comments on this blog, but this might just be the nicest i’ve ever had… You are very kind indeed. Too kind for sure. I have always been thinking of writing a book. Never had the guts to get to it. I have the very wide spread syndrome called “lackofselfbeliefsyndrom” ;) Thanks again. I hope you come back often!!

    • I am so glad you enjoy simple pastries like me. I don’t like to ever complicate things when it comes to cooking… Thanks for dropping by! :)

  20. I had clafoutis first in Grindelwald, where I worked for a winter at the youth hostel. It was also the first time I saw someone make pastry on the table. Your photos are as gorgeous as my memories of Grindelwald and the stunning Alps.

    janet

    • I don’t know the Alps as much as I’d like. It truly is an amazing part of Europe. I am so glad you got to experience that special culinary moment. It makes me even happier that you were able to appreciate it for what it was… :)

    • There is indeed a 100g of flour in the recipe. Unless you are really allergic to gluten, I really think you should give it a go ;)

    • The picture is from the late 60s. The clafoutis was absolutely fantastic if I say so myself ;) Really really yummy comfort food. I only had one spoon full as I am watching my weight, but my friends and family ate is in a flash… Always a good sign when a pie disappears in less than 5 minutes ;)

    • I am glad you kids got to experience the real thing when they were young. It is indeed the perfect dessert to create long lasting childhood memories ;) Thanks so much for taking the time to drop by :)

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