Traditionally associated with the Limousin region of south-central France, the clafoutis tradition is now ubiquitous throughout France and can be seen in neighbours Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
The Limousin cake featuring the Mirabelle cherry is regarded by the people of Limoges as the original and only claroutis. Cakes that do not feature cherries are called flognarde and even this is controversial because the original flognarde contained apples and pears.
What is no longer controversial is the name. It comes from the Latin clavo figere – ‘fix with a nail’ – in reference to the appearance of the cherries fixed to the cake like nails. Over time the expression became claufix then clafoutis.
Outside the region, the cake made with prunes in Brittany is called the far Breton. There are numerous regional variations that feature cheese – goat cheese in particular – and any firm fruit such as apricots, nectarines, plums and white grapes, and even chocoloate.
As long as the fruit does not release too much juice it is deemed suitable for a clafoutis.
This is the original cherry version.
- 450 g Mirabelle cherries / red cherries
- 375 g Reblochon cheese
- 4 eggs / 3 eggs (if using butter)
- 125 ml cream
- 90 g flour
- 60 g butter, melted (optional)
- 30 g icing sugar
- Black pepper, pinch
- Salt, pinch
In a bowl whisk the eggs and melted butter vigorously. Add cream and flour, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
Cut the Reblochon into small pieces with the crust and stir in the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter and flour a gratin dish. Pour the mixture and add the cherries.
Cook for 40 minutes, leave to cool, then sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.