Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cherry Clafouti - It's the Pits

It's cherry season! To celebrate I bring you a rerun filmed a couple years ago [insert standard lower-quality apology] for clafouti. Other than straight from the hand, this is my favorite way to enjoy cherries. I hope you give it a try! What follows is the original post from 7/28/08...

Clafouti (klah-foo-tee) is one of the
world's great recipes for enjoying fresh cherries. This French favorite is a sort of baked custard, studded with fresh cherries, and scented with vanilla. It's the kind of dish that's impossible to become tired of, by virtue of the cherry's short season. Once a year, cherry clafouti comes into your life, like a friend with benefits, and for a few short weeks gives you great pleasure.

The recipe is
remarkably simple, and the first time you make it you'll stare in wonder as it puffs up from the sides of the baking dish. You'll also stare in wonder when you see me add the cherries without removing the pits. Traditionally, cherry clafouti is made using fruit that hasn’t been pitted. Clafouti aficionados claim (and I believe them) that as the cherries bake, the pits give off a sexy, sensual scent that is missing from the pitted version.

So, that is the decision you are faced with - risk catastrophic dental injuries for a little extra flavor, or pit the cherries and play it safe. To me, it's no decision at all, the pits must be baked in. Besides, as I'm sure those of you that make this will agree, after the cherries are cooked, it only takes a little press with the fork to liberate the pit, and cast it aside. For your average serving of cherry clafouti this means maybe 4-5 pits - a small price to pay for authentic taste. This recipe will also work for things like peaches, plums, and berries in case cherry season has passed you by. Enjoy!




1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar, divided
1 1/4 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
pinch of salt
12 oz cherries (a couple handfuls)

76 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aha!! I am glad that you posted this! After the teaser that you posted the other day, I needed the demo video immediately as I had local cherries that needed to be used and a brunch potluck to cook for! So, I had to hunt around the web for a cherry clafoutis recipe... I am very excited to follow yours (I will even leave the cherry pits in, this time!!).

Thanks so much!

Chef John said...

Great! Just make sure you tell everyone about the pits!! Or it will be a Pot-Bad-Luck.

Anonymous said...

Your cherry clafouti video made my mouth water. I didn't know what clafouti was, but I LOVE custard and I LOVE cherries! So I'm thinking I will absolutely love this dish:) I can't wait to try it out!

Your video is so great! I'd much rather follow a video than read a recipe. Not to mention your video is such high quality. You should check out www.graspr.com and see if you'd want to upload your videos there. They focus on high quality instructional videos, so yours would be perfect!

Chef John said...

thanks, I already have some clips on graspr. Do you work for graspr...sure sounds like it. ;)

noble pig said...

I guess I am a non-traditionalist...the pits are always out on mine! Maybe I'm a lazy eater?

Pyrofish said...

Can't wait to try this one. The recipe is a bit different than the one I have, so I'm eager to see how it comes out. I made some individual ramekins with berries the other night for a date. She loved it. I made one extra for me for the next morning ;-)

Chef John said...

"I made one extra for me for the next morning ;-)"

a date or ramekin?

shreela said...

YUM! I've never heard of clafouti before; my grandmother made cobblers, and that's the closest I've ever had to this. I'm going to use it on all sorts of fruits (which will be pitted if needed ROFL).

I wish there was a way to get that "poof" thing on the side to happen on all sides, all the time. I think it looks cool ha ha.

I think I'll try Pyrofish's ramkins idea after I buy more (we're rough in the kitchen for some reason LOL).

Chef John said...

If you use a round baking dish it does usually happen on all the edges. But on oval and square it's less predictable.

Ben said...

oops i was so excited that i put all the sugar in the batter :). still tasty though, and now i have an excuse to make another one :)

Thanks a million chef
i had an awesome supper because of you tonight! clafoutis and your cabbage rolls.
cheers

Chef John said...

Wow, now that's a menu! Thanks.

Peter (Ekkoe) said...

The recipe looks awesome, and I think I'm gonna try this. I'm looking for a desert that is not too sweet, because the family isn't that much of a sweet tooth except my sister, but she always cooks deserts so she gets enough.

This isn't too sweet, right? I'm gonna go over the rest of your recipes to get all my options, but its gonna be one of yours for sure. Love the site.

A little constructive criticism: It says "What's youT food wish?" at the end of the video.
What, you thought I had any comment on the cooking? Of course not!

47 said...

chef john!

i came to know about this blog of yours via youtube.

i'm not someone who cooks, but your homemade cheese and beef brajiole videos have converted me!

i'm gonna start learning more about cooking and start doing it from now on.

don't wanna end up on my deathbed saying .."i've never made cheese.." LOL

great site and videos chef john!

Chef John said...

Thanks! Good catch. I just changed it.

milkshake said...

The cherry pits are giving off that cherry-cola (=artificial almond flavoring like) hint, and also the cherry look better unpitted. But when were little kids gobbling up the slices of clafouti on the run, grandma's refusal to pit the cherries made for many pit-bite accidents.

Chef John said...

Be careful! This recipe is NC17

Jainie said...

Ooh. I think I might try this with black cherries. Could you replace the vanilla in the recipe with something else? Like, maybe amaretto or something?

I found your site a while back and I've been working my way through all of it, hoping to learn by osmosis! I don't know how I can't try this recipe, though, this is crazy simple and looks delicious! Thanks, John :D

Chef John said...

You could, but the vanilla works so well with the custard. And it is crazy simple and delicious!

Anonymous said...

I have a tree dropping sweet white nectarines by the bushelful. My Husband says he will make hooch with whatever we can't eat or give away... However I will try the clafouti with them this week.Thanks for the recipe/idea.
Luisa (Vacaville)

Superdude said...

traditionalist? more like lazy :P

nice recipe I'm def going to try this one

Wumpy said...

I love this recipe! I made it Monday and it was a hit with my French spouse. I kept the pits in on the Ranier cherries and the pits gave the clafouti a touch of a brandy or rum taste. I am making it again today with nectarines. I've also made your delicious cheese recipe. Thank you!

Chef John said...

your welcome. I get a sort of amaretto scent myself.

/SiD said...

a possibly stupid question from a foreigner, the vanilla, is that vanilla extract or some booze brand or what? If it is vanilla extract, can I use vanilla sugar instead and how much of that would I need?

Chef John said...

vanilla extract does contain alcohol but not sold as booze. It with the baking good. Sure, just use the vanilla sugar in place of the sugar in the recipe and you're good to go.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I made according to your recipe twice, it looked absolutely great in the oven, just before it comes out, but after leaving it to cool bout 5 minutes, it deflates like a balloon, issit normal?

Chef John said...

yes it is. I mention that in the video, and you can see it deflate. You'll notice the photos here also show it deflated. That is the way it is.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chef John
This recipe looks good, but I still have two questions

1.Did you take the cores of cherries out?? If so, how did you do that

2.Can you use some fruits in season to replace cherries, like strawberries @@

Chef John said...

the pits are discussed in the post. You just smush the cherries with a flat knife and remove. strawberries are probably to watery.

Anonymous said...

I saw the first cherries of the season in the store today. Clafouti in the oven now. This was SO easy and fast to put together, I can't wait to taste it. It smells devine and I have a doggie whining in front of the oven.

Anonymous said...

Cherry pits contain cyanide, could the cyanide seep into the dish as a result of cooking it?

Chef John said...

not sure, but they've been eating it in France for a thousand years like that.

maitino said...

I have this phobia with stone fruit whereby I imagine a rotten spot or a worm somewhere in there, so I have to cut open and make sure before eating. So, no thanks I will have to halve mine, just in case.

Chef John said...

You need professional help. ;-)

maitino said...

Ouch!!!!

mlongrie said...

I didn't like this, tasted eggy. I used blueberries and nectarines. The blueberries aren't strong enough in flavor, but rainier cherries are subtle also.

The nectarines really snapped and were the best part, otherwise I copied the recipe. Tasted much to eggy. I think a lemon juice and zest addition, with a vanilla ommission while using a strong fruit, like nectarines would be the best idea.

The thing about rainier cherries and nectarines is neither will discolor the surrounding cake/custard mix.

Chef John said...

yes, it's not for everyone. needs sweeter fruit than blueberries for sure. too tart for this

Steph said...

This looks soo delicious! I think i'll have to try this.
I seem to have the same problem as maitino with stone fruit. I adore cherries but my paranoia tends to ruin eating them for me.
Thank you for posting this!

JoAnn said...

Thanks Chef. I've made several clafoutis with this recipe now and they always turn out super. Try fresh figs. They are yum! Also I added a little almond essence to my bing cherry clafoutis. "As always, I enjoyed!" and so did my dinner guests. I made apricot clafoutis topped with Greek yogurt for my last dinner party.

James T said...

I've made this like 3 times, and it always turns out tasting eggy, and not in a fantastic custardy way. Other recipes call for one less egg. Also, it deflated... which was like watching was like watching one's child fail a spelling bee. Thoughts?

Chef John said...

they always deflate, that's what they do. It is eggy, not like a classic custard. Maybe make a custard instead? Maybe you just don't like clafoutis. Not everyone does.

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MoarPewPewPlz said...

Hey Chef John!
It's me, one of your youtube subscribers. :] I know it's kind of late to be commenting on a recipe made years ago, but this is the first recipe off your list that I made. My family loved it! Problem is, my brother came to visit and I really want him to try it. He has high cholesterol though, and so do my parents and my sister. It makes me really sad to know that my family has so much high cholesterol and there's SO MANY dessert recipes that include egg yolks. So is there any way I can cook this...you know...yolk-less? Any more tips on low cholesterol recipes? I plan on becoming a pastry chef, so you're like a hero to me. :D Thank you - Julie

Chef John said...

Thanks!!

There really isn't. But, even someone with the highest Cholesterol can have a small portion of this once in a while. There is only like 1/2 a yolk per person. That's nothing!

MoarPewPewPlz said...

Oh okay. It was worrying me though. Yolks are evil to me ahah. But I guess I should consider a truce with these yolks in the clafouti. Thank you Chef John!

Ian :) said...

This is a definate, I have a cherry tree at the end of my road, they are not quite ready yet, but when they are...

Steve said...

Chef:

This looks great and when I lay hands on some cherries, I'm definitely doing it.

In the meantime, I have a nectarine tree that's going berserk in my back yard and I'm contemplating nectarine clafouti. I've seen a couple of recipes on the net but I was wondering what your take on it would be. Anything I should watch out for or should I just make the substitution and go full speed ahead?

Chef John said...

any fruit works!

Steve said...

> any fruit works!

Indeed it does. The nectarine clafouti turned out fabulous. . . and you don't have to worry about pits (not even I'm silly enough to use whole nectarines).

I served with a bit of left over strawberry frozen yoghurt I'd made a while ago and it was excellent.

Thanks!

Pisaster said...

The pits give an almond-like aroma to the dish. That's because they contain a bit of cyanide, as do bitter almonds and the pits of peaches, nectarines, plums, and other stone fruits. Since the pits are essentially an almond flavoring, I prefer to remove them and add some ground almonds to the batter (and perhaps a very small amount of almond extract). I learned a very clever technique from Rose Levy Beranbaum. You can remove the pits from cherries while leaving them whole by just pushing a toothpick through them and pushing out the seed. A bit of a chore, but at least there will be no pits in your clafouti.

Chef John said...

squeezing out the hot pits is the best part of the recipe. it much ,ore than flavor, its a ritual.

Anonymous said...

I Just made this today (with the pits intact) and my family loved it. Thanks

Daphne Apocalypse said...

I made this last night and maaaaaaaan was it sweet. If I were making it again I would cut the sugar down by half. The whole thing also took longer to cook than normal and came out pretty rubbery. Did I do something wrong? Also, the layers sort of came apart, the precooked part was much tougher and slide away from the top part when eating. Is there a way to prevent this?

Chef John said...

Sounds like it over cooked. You said it took longer, but maybe it went too long, that will turn the custard into rubber.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef! (another youtube subscriber) Would you recommend that leftovers been heated a bit? Or, would you recommend placing it from the fridge to counter until room temp? Cooking for one is a challenge at times! :)

blk

Chef John said...

You can just microwave for a little bit to take the chill off.

Anonymous said...

Thank you again, Chef! I also made a little whipped cream with just a drop or two of Almond extract and a bit of superfine sugar. Wow, this was incredibly easy AND delicious! My sweetheart came home just in time to enjoy this wonderful dessert :) "Oh is that from Chef John?! I remember you watching the video. This is exciting!"

(Today it was cooking for 2)

blk

Anonymous said...

Hello Chef John, i just would like to ask, if i do not have that type of dish (since i'm a student studying in another country) , is it ok if i make this in a foil ware?

*sorry if this is a stupid question. :">

Chef John said...

You cam try but my instincts say you need something thicker than foil. Good luck!

Luc said...

Ha! Some pits-in traditionalist you are! Not even spelling the dish by its rightful French: clafoutis. Busted! ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef John, I was wondering if, when using other fruits, you need to adjust the amount of vanilla. I plan to make clafouti with peaches and plums, but wasn't sure if I should cut down on the vanilla or use something else instead. Any thoughts?

Chef John said...

I've never changed the vanilla for other fruit, but I like vanilla. Not sure of the answer.

sequimteeth said...

Blueberries worked well for me. I have a picture of the final result, but don't know how to share it with you. I thought the true test would be what it would taste like in the AM. It wasn't bad, but definitely not as good as the previous evening when it was warm from the oven.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef John,
I have a plethora of plumbs that have just come to perfection and I was wondering if this clafouti recipe would work with them.
-John

Chef John said...

sure!

Anonymous said...

can i use strawberries instead of cherries? its not that i dont like cherries, just wanna know

Chef John said...

Never tried, but they may be too watery.

Mo said...

Love this recipe! Did a orange juice, fig, & jalapeno variation, pretty tasty!

Z's Mom said...

Chef John, I love the clafouti. A little sweet for my taste, so I'll cut back the sugar next time. I used blueberries, raspberries, and some blackberries. Also, made it with full fat soy milk. Followed the video instructions to the letter, but the clafouti is a bit wet all over. Any thoughts as to why this happened? Just found your site and will be checking it out. Thanks!

Chef John said...

I'm not sure, but you did change 2 of the ingredients, so that would be my guess ;-)

Camila Cavalcanti said...

I can't find fresh cherry where I live, just the canned version, which by the way I don't like it. Anyway, can I use strawberry instead? Or can you suggest me a better substitute?

Chef John said...

you can use strawberry but it will just be wetter.

Anonymous said...

baking in the oven right now. Can't wait to try it out! Rainer cherries all the way, from my home state! Cheers

Twila in MT

Midori said...

hello chef! i was wondering if i could use a baking sheet or those glass baking sheets? instead of must i use a ramekin?

whitterbug23 said...

Chef John, you and your recipes are absolutely amazing! My family and I loved this. My only change was that I used vanilla bean paste in place of vanilla extract.

Every summer, my sister and I go to Rochester, NY to visit family and on our way home we always stop in Sodus and get fresh peaches, plums and cherries, plus what ever else looks good. We always end up with too much fruit and spend the next few weeks trying to find new ways to use it up before it goes bad.

This recipe will be coming out ever year to help fight the summer fruit invasion. Thanks again for such an awesome and easy recipe.

Chef John said...

thank you!!

Steve Kennedy said...

While adding that last 1/3 cup of sugar, I was thinking this was going to be way too sweet. I served it after your million dollar chicken, a pot of butter beans, some corn bread and fried Okra. It was perfect. Not too sweet and not too tart. Just a nice finish to a good meal.
Then eased out in the front yard, everyone was too full to chase the Frisbee so we just walked after it.
Good food, good times, thanks bunches.
P.S. I made the creme fraiche for that chicken and will probably never buy sour creme again.