French in a Flash: Cheated Cherry Clafoutis Recipe

French in a Flash: Cheated Cherry Clafoutis Recipe

[Photographs: Kerry Saretsky]

Cherry clafoutis is a dessert from the Limousin region of France, where, traditionally, it is served with unpitted cherries baked inside. Certainly a good trick to prevent your eating your cake too quickly.

I love it for the holidays because it is a family dessert—wholesome, rustic, and simple, but punctuated with those Christmas red, Rudolph nose cherries. Serve with vanilla ice cream and crushed green pistachio nuts and you have the perfect thing to eat while waiting for Santa to shimmy down the chimney.

I have forever heard of clafoutis batters being referred to as a pancake batter, so I wondered if I could make things easier for myself by experimenting with pancake mix. The result is a crumbly version of clafoutis, not as custardy as some may be used to, but not too sweet, and hearty and warming as can be. And between roasting chestnuts, hanging mistletoe, and stuffing stockings, I take all the help I can get.



  • 40 cherries, pitted
  • 1 cup pancake mix
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 5 tablespoons sugar


  1. 1.

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. 2.

    Butter a pie dish. Place the cherries in an even layer all over the bottom of the dish.

  3. 3.

    Whisk together the other ingredients, and pour over the cherries. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.

  4. 4.

    Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean and hot.

  5. 5.

    Allow the clafoutis to cool so it is just warm. Cut into 8 slices with a serrated knife. Garnish with powdered sugar and toasted sliced almonds.