Since true clafoutis are always made with cherries, calling this a cherry clafouti is redundant. Sorry about that.
I did it to differentiate between clafouti and flaugnarde, which is like a clafouti only made with some other kind of fruit.
According to Wiki, the proper word is Clafoutis, from the verb clafir, meaning “to fill” – as in ‘filled with cherries’. The ‘s’ at the end is silent.
And that is why anglophones changed the spelling to clafouti.
The dish comes from the Limonsin region of France, which is one of the traditional provinces of France, close to the city of Limoges.
True clafouti is made with black cherries and is cooked with the pits in. The pits impart a distinctive flavor. If you pit the cherries, the flavor is different.
If you don’t use cherries in this dish, it’s called a ‘flaugnarde’ or ‘flagnarde’ or ‘flognarde’ or ‘flougnarde’. So, you have lots of orthographic options.
They say it’s like a glorified pancake or flan. It looks like a traditional American cobbler only with a thinner batter. Maybe they’re related. If you find out that they are (or aren’t), let me know.
I wanted to find out if it was true that it tasted different with the pits in. So I went out in search of lots of sweet cherries. And I found them. And they were on sale. Perfect!
And I made it both ways – without pits and with pits. It was easy. All you have to do was put the cherries in then pour the batter over them then bake it. Too easy.
Seriously. It was too easy.
So I did some looking around at variations and made it a teensy bit more complicated. I added real vanilla from a vanilla bean. I heart vanilla. You knew that.
This is what I made. It was fabulous. Totally worth leaving the pits in. I’ll never do pitless clafouti again.
10 inch tart dish
butter to rub your dish with
1 to 1 1/2 lb black cherries, stems off, pits in. Yes, in.
3 T flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs [You can get by with 3 if you have to.]
2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean
Heat oven to 350. Butter the tart dish well. Arrange cherries in the bottom of the dish. Don’t pack them in, leave some spaces for the batter to get around them all. In a small bowl, mix flour, salt and sugar. Set aside. In a bigger bowl, mix eggs and milk. Cut vanilla bean longways and scrape out the insides into the egg mixture. Gradually stir the flour mix into the egg mixture. Pour batter over cherries. Bake at 350 until set and golden. About 60 minutes.
Clafouti is traditionally served at room temp. It’s great that way. It was also great cold, right out of the fridge for breakfast.
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