What Is the French Dessert Clafoutis?

All about the French dessert

Clafoutis with blackberries and raspberries
Clafoutis with blackberries and raspberries. Lilyana Vinogradova / Getty Images

If you have a sweet tooth, you're in for a treat if you've yet to learn about the rustic French dessert clafoutis. So, just what is this dish and how is it made? With this brief overview, get acquainted with this delectable treat.

In short, clafoutis (pronounced "kla-FOO-tee") is a baked dessert that is made by baking cherries in a custard-like batter similar to pancake batter. Is your mouth watering yet?

Traditional Clafoutis Versus Variations

Traditionally, a clafoutis is specifically made with black cherries, although many clafoutis variations include other fruits such as plums, prunes, blueberries or apples. So, if cherries aren't your favorite, try these fruits instead. If you're a food purist, however, know that technically, these variations should be called flaungardes rather than clafoutis.

How Bakers Prepare the Dish

Some bakers like to leave the cherry pits in the cherries when making the clafoutis (alternatively spelled clafouti). Baking the clafoutis with pitted cherries that haven't been pitted produces a much stronger cherry flavor. So, if you enjoy the taste of the fruit, this may be the way to go.

Be aware, of course, that eating a dessert full of cherry pits presents innumerable perils of the dental variety, so the practice has largely fallen by the wayside. If you're a traditionalist cook and think you can handle the pits of cherry eating (pun intended), try making the dish the old school way.

You can always make the dish again sans cherry pits.

Where to Eat Clafoutis

Thankfully, you don't have to travel all the way to France to sample this dessert. If there's a French restaurant in your area, and you can bet there is if you live in a big city, call around to see if they have clafoutis on the menu.

If you're a veteran cook or have trust in your baking skills, try making the dessert at home from scratch. 

Clafoutis is an extremely popular dish and recipes for this tasty treat are available in a number of cookbooks as well as online. Famous chefs such as Julia Child have crafted recipes for clafoutis. If you have a blender, a buttered baking dish and milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, and flour, you can pull this dish off. Remember that you don't need cherries to make this dish, so you can improvise with other fruits to make clafoutis, or flaungardes.

Most recipes will yield enough servings for six to eight people, so if you want more, you'll need to double or triple the recipe. While clafoutis is great after a soothing meal, the dish is not only served as a dessert. It is often served as a breakfast food as well. It's up to you whether you'd like to serve the food in the morning or in the evening. If you make an ample amount, you can first serve it as a dessert and then present it again as a breakfast meal the following morning.