A clafoutis (pronouced kla-foo-tee) is a French dessert that would be best explained as a cross between a custard and a cake, traditionally studded with cherries. My very vegan cherry clafoutis makes no concessions for flavor or texture, and it might almost make your heart miss a beat, it’s that great-looking. You can adapt this recipe to a gluten-free diet.
If you’re looking for a great cherry dessert this time of year, look no further than this vegan Cherry Clafoutis. It’s the kind of food that’ll win you rave reviews even if your family is used to your Michelin-star-quality recipes; and yet it’s easy enough for an inexperienced baker to pull off with very little chance of failure.
The stars of this clafoutis are the cherries, of course, but what lifts it into the realm of the sublime is the almond. I actually use it in three different ways in this dish: I stir in some almond flour and some amaretto, an almond flavored liqueur, or almond extract, into the batter, and I scatter some blanched, sliced almonds on top, although those are optional.
The story goes that French chefs made the clafoutis with cherries that still had their pits in them, and the pits imparted a slightly bitter, almond-like flavor to the dish. Don’t try it unless you want to make a detour to the dentist during the dessert course.
This is a truly easy dessert–the New York Times says you could make it while the rest of your dinner is in the oven. The batter is mixed up in a blender, and all you really need to do is pit your cherries.
When blending the batter, just pulse lightly a few times until everything comes together–don’t overmix. Overworking flour causes gluten to form, and you want to keep things as tender as possible in this cake.
Fresh cherries are abundant right now, but if you just have the frozen kind, that’s fine too. You also likely won’t have to go to the trouble of pitting them because the frozen fruit is already pitted.
Eggs and milk (or cream) give clafoutis its incredible custard-cake texture. For my vegan version, I used silken tofu and a mixture of flours.
I use amaretto for flavoring because I love a hint of boozy flavor in my deserts. But if you’d rather not, use good old almond extract instead.
Clafoutis can be served warm or cold. The sooner you cut into it, the more tender it will be, which also means it won’t slice as easily while hot. But if you let it cool thoroughly it will slice beautifully. I like to keep mine in the refrigerator for a few hours because it tastes divine cold.
You can even serve this clafoutis for a sumptuous breakfast–it’s healthy enough and fruity enough to make that jump.
Yes. You can use berries, peaches, apples, prunes, apricots–try it with any fruit that you love.
Again, you have a lot of leeway. I used an oval baking dish but a regular deep dish pie pan would work great. Or a square or round cake tin works too.
Vegan Cherry Clafoutis
Vegan Cherry Clafoutis
- Pie plate or baking dish
- 4 cups cherries (Pitted. Frozen work too. Or use any other fresh fruit)
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or any nondairy milk)
- 16 oz silken tofu
- 1/4 cup almond flour (finely ground)
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour (or a gluten-free all purpose flour)
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp amaretto (or 1 tsp almond extract)
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Handful of blanched, sliced almonds for decorating (optional)
- 1 tbsp vegan butter (for coating baking dish)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Coat the baking dish or pie plate with the butter. Place cherries evenly in the dish.
- Blend all of the remaining ingredients until you have a really smooth custard.
- Pour the custard over the cherries evenly.
- Place the baking dish on a cookie sheet or in a pan to catch any juices that overflow, and place in the preheated oven. Bake 45-66 minutes until edges are golden and puffy and the center doesn't jiggle and appears firm when touched lightly.
- You can serve the clafoutis warm, or, for a firmer texture, cool thoroughly before slicing. You can also refrigerate before serving. Dust on some powdered sugar before serving and scatter on some blanched, sliced almonds if using.