Cherry Mini Clafoutis

Clafoutis is a classic French dessert, traditionally made with cherries and thick custard batter, resembling a flan. It is a specialty of the Limousin region in France. The name “clafoutis” is believed to come from the word “claufir” which means to cover or to fill; and indeed, this dessert is filled with creamy custard that covers all over the fruits. The classic clafoutis uses summer cherries (with pits still in the fruits), but a more contemporary version may use other fruits, such as pear, peach, raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, or even banana.

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Nowadays, almost all recipes call for pitted cherries. You would not want to have cracking tooth while enjoying the clafoutis, would you? However, the traditional method uses whole cherries, without removing the pits. Why? This is because cherry pits have a special aroma which infuses the custard batter, and thus intensifies the cherry flavour. Therefore, it’s your choice: the full cherry flavour, or just issue a warning on the dining table: “Caution: Cherry Pits“.

The clafoutis of this recipe is rather thick, since the total percentage of milk in the recipe is quite low. As a result, I was able to unmould the clafoutis immediately once they were out from the oven. It is also possible to double or even triple the amount of milk for this recipe, and bake until the custard is just set. But then, it is not advisable to unmould the clafoutis straight away.

Watch this video on how to make cherry clafoutis, with step-by-step demonstration:

Ingredients: (yield: 6 – 7 mini clafoutis)

(A) Cherries
Fresh cherries 12 pieces
Icing sugar 2 Tbsp
Cherry Brandy/ Kirsch 1 Tbsp

(B) Custard batter
Eggs 110g
Sugar 50g
Cake flour 10g
Almond powder 30g
Milk 75g
Melted butter 30g
Vanilla bean, 1/4 piece

Extra softened butter and brown sugar to grease the mould

Method:

  1. To macerate the cherries: Rinse cherries with water, remove stalks and pits. Add icing sugar and cherry brandy to the cherries. Mix to dissolve the icing sugar. Cover and set aside for about an hour.
  2. Preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius. Prepare 6 or 7 muffin moulds, and grease them with softened butter. Coat with a thin layer of brown sugar. Keep refrigerated until needed.
  3. To prepare the custard batter:  In a mixing bowl, put in eggs and sugar. Mix well.
  4. Sieve cake flour and almond powder directly to the egg mixture, and mix well.
  5. Mix in milk, vanilla bean and melted butter, until well combined.
  6. Pour some custard into the muffin mould, and put in 2 cherries.
  7. Pour custard until about 80 – 90% full.
  8. Bake at 180 degree Celsius for 20 -25 minutes, until the custard is set.
  9. Remove clafoutis from muffin moulds while they are still hot.
  10. Dust with icing sugar, and serve warm.
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Clafoutis custard batter will puff up when it’s in the oven. It will sink and flatten again once it has cooled down.
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Mini clafoutis

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