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June 12, 2007

Cerise, Je t'aime


"Cerise, je t'aime", I am told, is a French term of endearment - a marvelous moment of serendipity for me as I had just come up with the phrase on my own in an attempt to capture both my love for this summer fruit and allude to “Paris, Je T’aime”, that ode to the city of love currently playing at my local theater.

Nods to France entirely appropriate, of course, as I made a very French dessert to showcase the season’s crop of cherries (at least, the ones I haven’t devoured out of hand) – the classic clafouti.

Black cherries are the traditional fruit of choice for a clafouti, and unpitted as well – the pits actually add a more intense flavor to the batter as it is baked. But whether you use black or red cherries, or even plums or peaches or berries, the clafouti is rustic French baking at its very best: surprisingly simple in preparation, utterly unpretentious in presentation, and comfortingly easy to devour.

You can make a clafouti in a traditional deep baking dish or in individual ramekins. You can eat clafouti warm out of the oven or cooled to room temperature – anyway you make it, it will be delicious. With the simplicity of the ingredients – sugar, eggs, cream, vanilla, ripe cherries – success is all but assured.

Comparing clafouti recipes will uncover slight variations on the ingredient amounts – I interpret this charming imprecision as another indicator that clafouti is meant to be made perfect to your taste. Whether you prefer it a little firmer and more cakey or custardy and puddinglike, is all up to you. I used a version from Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets - Gérard Mulot’s delightful interpretation of the clafouti with griottes and a crème fraîche custard in a sweet crust. I eliminated the tart crust and used fresh cherries instead, but I found the lack of flour or other starch made for a fantastically creamy, rich custard, and the vanilla bean a fragrant complement to the cherries. In fact, we found this concoction so good we made it again the next night – with the few cherries we had remaining!

Here's to cherries, and France, and clafoutis, and sweet, sweet, summer.


Cherry Clafouti

adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Paris Sweets

makes one 9-in clafouti or (8) 2 1/2-in ramekins

3 large eggs

6 tablespoons (75 g) sugar

1 cup (240 g) crème fraîche

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

11 ounces (330 g) cherries, pitted (you may need fewer cherries if you make individual clafoutis depending on how many you can fit in the ramekins)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9-in baking dish or pie plate, or individual ramekins, and place on a baking sheet.

Whisk the eggs together in a mixing bowl.

Add in the sugar and whisk to combine.

Add in the crème fraîche and whisk just until incorporated.

Whisk in the vanilla bean paste.

Stir in the cherries gently.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, making sure the cherries are distributed evenly.

Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes (if you are making individual ramekins, be sure to check halfway through to see if they are baking faster) until the batter looks puffed and golden and is set in the center.

Let clafouti cool for about 15 minutes out of the oven before serving. You can also serve at room temperature - it will keep for about 12 hours.

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WOW this looks delicious! I am so excited to see the movie - I should be going this weekend!

WOW! I just got Dorie's Paris Sweets over the weekend and was looking at making that recipe as the first. Now I have your adaptation to try as well! How lovely!

These look beautiful!

My French is not good enough to read all your post, but the pudding looks lovely with the one perfect cherry on each of them.

I love the idea of making minature ones!

Your clafouti is a work of art. A real ode to paris. J'adore.

Wow! these look great. Have a great summer.

Winter has well and truly set in here in Australia, but I noticed some cherries in the supermarket yesterday - all the way from the U.S. A luxury, to be sure, but I think I shall have to indulge this weekend to remind myself that it will, one day, be summer again......

Oh wow, they're amazing. I've made clafoutif before but I never thought of doing it in individual ramekins, it looks amazing.

I've started my own baking blog at and was wondering if it's okay if I link you your blog? I've been a huge fan of it for a while now and you've provided me with a lot of inspiration.

I have had this once...and loved it! I will have to make this at home soon...I love the way your single serving looks :) So pretty!

Just the most adorable looking dessert. Another thing I have not tried yet. Well done.

love cherries! i've tried the semifreddo two weekends ago and we loved it. i'm going to try this one this weekend.

this is my first time hearing of vanilla bean paste .

Wow, they look amazing. I've made cherry clafoutis before, but never though of making then as individual puddings. Great idea, I'll have to try it sometime :)

I've just created a new baking blog at
and was wondering if it's okay if I link to your blog?

Aah cherries!This is the season to bake with them. Nice mini-clafoutis!

Dorie always comes through. Your photographs are stunning and make me want to rush out and buy cherries to make that clafouti. Yum!

How sad! I actually missed this movie at the last Valetine's Day. Hope you enjoyed it! Cherries are the prettiest fruit..simply too good to be eaten! :)

So beautiful, Anita!

YOu make it sound sooo easy...
I almost went to see Paris, Je T'aime this afternoon...
Why of why didn't I?
Lovely pictures as always..
Someone told me Mulot's Clufouti is unbeatable too!

As Iif I needed more proofs that I love you! You made one of my favorite desserts and with such poetry. I have had the chance to try Mullot's version and it was to die for!
Beautiful shots!

Cherry clafoutis is one of my favorite desserts. I haven't made this version of the recipe before, but now I will have to try it!

The cherry is my sweetheart, Anita! Thank you for showcasing it in such a beautiful dessert!

I have seen so many recipes for clafoutis and always think how wonderful it looks and I've got to make it. Now I think I will get my act together and do this one.

Anita, thank you so much for suggesting the Almond Orange Pana Cotta. I appreciate your help so much, especially since you knew exactly where to look for the recipe! The article will run on June 20 - if you remember, log on to the Muskogee Phoenix website and look at it. Thanks so much - you have such a beautiful website!

soooo cute!! they look absolutely deliscious!

Wonderful presentation !!!!

Thank you! I hope you enjoyed the movie as well!

Thanks! Paris Sweets is one of my favorite books - I think you're going to enjoy going through it!

Thank you! I'm flattered!

Thank you! "Cerise, je t'aime" is just French for "Cherry, I love you" - appropriate title for the post!

Thank you! I didn't even realize how minature the ramekins were until I went to pour the batter in - they are tiny!

Oh, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

Thank you! Hope you are enjoying your summer as well!

Thank you! Hope you are staying warm down there - I'm sure this December I'll be thinking of your weather with envy!

Thank you for the compliments! Your blog is wonderful, I would be honored to be linked to it!

Thank you! I find the single serving much cuter to present as well!

Thank you! I hope you get to try them - they're amazingly easy and so delicious!

So glad you liked the semifreddo and hope you liked the clafoutis too! Vanilla bean paste is a wonderful thing, you can find it in most quality food stores next to the vanilla extract!

Thank you! It's definitely time to celebrate cherries!

Oh, thank you! I agree, Dorie is definitely a go-to for great recipes!

Thank you! Hopefully the movie will come out on DVD soon so you can catch it! I have a hard time not eating all the cherries up before I can bake anything with them!

Thank you! So glad you like them!

Hope you get a chance to catch the movie before it's gone! I need to get back to Paris to try some of Mulot's clafouti!

I'm glad you felt I could do this wonderful dessert justice - it just naturally made me want to gush about it! Thank you!

It's amazing how a simple dessert can taste so good. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Ah, so many cherry lovers! Glad you enjoyed the post!

Sarah Bell,
I hope you get the chance to try making some clafoutis - they're a wonderful payoff for very little work!

Thank you! I'm glad you liked them!

Thank you! I'm pleased with how they turned out!

I learnt something new today. It never occurred to me to make clafouti in ramekins. Perfect single serving. I reckon you could assemble and refrigerate. Bake them whenever we want.

I am excited about trying this recipe which looks delicious in the photo! How would the recipe be modified if one wanted to create a chocolate and cherries combination? Would you add powdered cocoa or melted baking chocolate and how much of either? Would you keep the vanilla bean paste? thanks in advance for your comments and your delightful web site! Arthur

Hi Arthur,
I haven't thought before about adapting this recipe for chocolate! I would try adding a few ounces of melted dark chocolate - maybe 2 to 3 oz. You could probably eliminate the vanilla bean. Don't be afraid to experiment - let me know how it goes!


I have been looking at clafoutis recipes and thought yours looked amazing but I was just wondering.. All the others have flour in the batter but this one does not. Is that correct?

Thank you! Pippa

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