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life is just …

a   c h a i r  of   b o w l i e s …

…but as always, that depends on your perspective.

I went out to collect the mail and – it must be my lucky day – I received my first (does one get a second?) Free Pre-Paid Cremation! notice (details inside.) Well, that’s going up in smoke!

And then, I was heading out to a great little farmers’ market when I learned I needed to be home in case either of two inspectors came by to look at our bathrooms.

So, with my market plan foiled, and suddenly feeling older than dirt, I played with what I had, and what I had were organic Rainier cherries picked from a nearby orchard.

I’d bought enough of them to do several things.

But cherries have this cuteness factor that I wanted to capitalize on, so… it’s to be

Cherry Clafoutis


Clafoutis are definitely cute too.

And – proving this truly WAS my lucky day – I already had everything I needed to make them.

Clafoutis are French flans or custards, flavor-infused, with various fruits baked inside. There is some debate as to whether to remove the pits of the cherries or leave them in. Those in favor of leaving them in believe that the pits actually impart a subtle deliciousness of their own. The option is yours. But…For a child to lift a little red globe by its stem from a pillowy custard, pop it into her mouth – with the option of spitting the pit, if permitted – seems reason enough to leave them in.  Don’t be fooled…adults love to spit them too. It is said.

Cherry Clafoutis

These can be made in either one 12-inch mold or six 8-ounce ramekins and serve 6

  • Unsalted butter, for the mold or ramekins
  • ½ cup (100 g. or 3½ oz) blond cane sugar, plus more to sprinkle the mold(s)
  • ¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons (200 ml) whole milk
  • ¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons (200 ml) unsweetened coconut milk *
  • 1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup (40 g or 1¾ oz) millet flour
  • ¼ cup (30 g or 1 oz) almond meal
  • ¼ cup (30 g or 1 oz) cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 pound 5¼  oz (600 g) ripe sweet or sour cherries (such as Rainier or Bing)
  • Confectioners’ sugar to dust

* You could substitute heavy cream for the coconut milk if you prefer

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter either a 12-inch mold or six 8-oz cup ramekins, and sprinkle with sugar. Tap out the excess.

In a small saucepan, heat the milk and coconut milk (or cream) with the vanilla seeds and bean. Heat to just under a boil, then turn the heat off. Add almond extract and cover the pot with a lid. Allow the milk to infuse with flavor for 15 minutes. Then strain and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, millet flour, almond meal and cornstarch. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Then stir in the infused milk and melted butter. Pour the batter into the mold or ramekins and arrange the cherries on top, allowing them to mostly sink. (Stems up is nice if you can arrangement it.)

Place the clafoutis in the oven and bake until set and golden in color. For –

   12- inch mold – 35 to 40 minutes        ♥      8-ounce ramekins – 25 to 30 minutes

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack to room temperature. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Optional: if you approve of gilding the lily, you might even add a dollop of freshly-whipped sweet cream. 

~ ~ ~ 

For a printed caflouti copy, click here

~ ~ ~

I borrowed the recipe from La Tartine Gourmande, Béatrice Peltre, adapting it only slightly.

45 Comments Post a comment
  1. Loving your post as well as the fruits available to eat right now! Have a Beautiful Day:)

    June 19, 2012
    • Ahh thank you so much Ranee! And the same wish for you! 🙂

      June 19, 2012
  2. Joy #

    Those mailers are the worst, aren’t they? I just got one about “all the benefits of an AARP membership,” even though I’m well under the qualifying age. I’m not quite sure how old they think I am…I wonder if membership comes with accurate age technology!

    June 19, 2012
    • Joy, I know! And I’m well under the age of cremation too! At least I was quite sure of that until today…..

      June 19, 2012
  3. I’m in love with these photos!!
    The first one is so beautiful and makes me want to eat them all!

    June 19, 2012
    • Thank you Pablo, but you would get a belly ache! :-/ And that would be so sad!

      June 19, 2012
      • PS Pablo – do cherries grow there?

        June 19, 2012
  4. trialsinfood #

    Your and our lucky day! I vote for leaving the pit in. This looks delish!

    June 19, 2012
    • Thank you so much! And definitely the pits – in a good way! 🙂

      June 19, 2012
  5. These look delectable! I love Rainiers!

    I agree on the pits. do you have to daintily spit them into the spoon, or can you wallop them across the room?

    ps…only YOU would have millet flour on hand! 🙂

    June 19, 2012
    • Whilst dining with the Queen, one is expected to use the Royal Pip of the Cherry Disposal Bowl. However, whilst dining with your usual friends, no such expectation exists (and, in fact, you would be looked upon strangely were you to ask for such a device. I recommend against it.)

      June 19, 2012
  6. I had never heard of this dessert until I had lunch at a friend’s house and she served Claufuti for dessert. Thank you sooo much for the recipe. It is delish!

    June 19, 2012
    • Oh you’re so welcome! I love them too!

      June 19, 2012
  7. Hurray for spitting cherry pits! A worthy way to spend a summer afternoon.

    June 19, 2012
    • Right you are Emmy! Let the spitting begin!

      June 19, 2012
  8. What perfect timing for a tasty recipe, Spree! With sweet cherries leading the way, there will be plenty of other berries and fruit coming into season over the next few weeks. I bet this recipe will be called into service again and again. And I’m doing my part. I just pinned it and I’ve a feeling it is going to be one popular recipe this evening!
    To pit or not to pit? I’ll answer that question when I get to that bridge. 🙂

    June 19, 2012
  9. I am soooo happy that I opened my email notification for this post – I will be honest, I delete just about every WordPress notification I get these days because I just don’t have the time to look to my heart’s content. You, my dear, have contented my heart with this lovely, lovely post! I did not realize how much I have missed the feasts you treat us to. ♥♥♥

    June 19, 2012
    • Once again, my friend, you’ve made my day! What sweet kind words! (you must tell me again how to make those hearts…I want to offer them back!) xo!

      June 20, 2012
  10. Fabulous post and I shall pronounce cherries as chairies henceforth. That spelling appears to produce an authentic American accent when spoken. Clafoutis is such a delicious thing, and the individual ramekins look great.

    June 19, 2012
  11. …I’ve just reread the post and realise that I should be talking about bowlies, not chairies!

    June 19, 2012
    • 😉 well, maybe so, but you’re right about the chairies. Thanks Roger.

      June 20, 2012
  12. Fantastic – isn’t clafoutis just delicious? Yours looks so pretty. I wish I had done a couple of small ramekin ones with my strawberry and pimms clafoutis.

    June 20, 2012
    • Like you Nick, i love clafoutis! And must admit, they’re awfully cute in their own little “bowls”.

      June 20, 2012
  13. Amazing photos! They’re so happy-looking 🙂

    June 20, 2012
    • Cheery little cherries, right? 😉 thanks for the kind words!

      June 20, 2012
      • Haha definitely! Love your blog, followed it! xx

        June 20, 2012
  14. Cherries are my favourite fruit, and I always eat them straight out of the box instead of maknig anything nice with them! Maybe this year I will change that, this looks like a great recipe to start with.

    June 20, 2012
  15. Isn’t this just the cutest thing you ever saw?! When I bought cherries last week for Father’s Day, I kept saying in my head “Life is just a chair of bowlies.” Now you’ve captured it! I’ve never heard of a caflouti, but that word coupled with these images (and the thought of eating these yummies) has put a big smile on my face. xoxo

    June 20, 2012
    • and you just put one on mine! 😀

      June 21, 2012
  16. I have to make a clafouti! Besides I love saying the word Clafouti 🙂 and yah boo sucks to doscounts on funeral arrangements, life is too full of eating clafoutis fo rthat kind of business!

    June 20, 2012
    • clafouti clafouti clafouti! Yes it’s so fun to say! 🙂

      June 21, 2012
  17. I have only tried Clafoutis with peaches and it was heavenly
    It so happens that I have a box of cherries in my fridge and this couldn’t have come at a better time!
    Thank you Ani

    June 20, 2012
    • I was just thinking Sawsan how good a clafouti made with peaches would be – and now you’ve confirmed it so now I must do it! Thank you!

      June 21, 2012
  18. So funny…a free pre paid cremation! Anyhow, a fantastic recipe and it´s cherry fiesta time here so this is definitely on the “make next week” list 🙂

    June 21, 2012
    • Cherry fiesta time – the thought alone makes me happy! And yes, FAR too early to think about pre-paid cremations don’t you think? We’re still thinking BarBQ and roasting spits and paella! (In other words we’ve got better fish to fry!)

      June 21, 2012
  19. There is something so satisfying about spitting a cherry pit. The thwap-sound it makes as it exits your mouth and heads toward a target. The clink it makes as it hits a bowl. And what can anyone say? Swallow it? No. No one is going to say that. You MUST spit them out. It is law. And one of the only socially acceptable reasons for spitting in public.

    As always, your photos have inspired, and my tummy is craving a French treat…

    June 21, 2012
    • YOU have managed to put into words exactly what’s true about cherry pit spitting! Henceforth (I’ve never said that word before!) will you please write my posts?

      June 21, 2012
  20. I am not a great lover of desserts but this seems to really hit the spot for me. I cannot wait to try more of your recipes. Great images by the way

    June 21, 2012
    • I love a *little* sweet, and fruit desserts by far my favorites, so I completely understand. It pleases me though that I could tempt you just a little! 🙂 Thanks for leaving kind words for me to read!

      June 21, 2012
  21. Love these individual portions. So beautiful and looks delicious!

    June 24, 2012
  22. Ms Spree I haven’t been around here nearly enough lately and just seeing all your beautiful photos again… sigh. Like a breath of fresh air.
    (I’d like some photography lessons from you!)

    June 25, 2012
  23. Beautiful cherry shots! i’m making my first clafoutis tonight, doing a savoury version with cherry tomatoes, basil & feta. thanks for the tip about leaving the pips in, I’ve searching in vain for a cherry pipper for ages!!

    July 2, 2012

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