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Cherry clafoutis with vanilla ice cream in Mohk.jpg
Blueberry Clafoutis with ice cream
Place of originFrance
Region or stateLimousin
Serving temperatureWarm or cold
Main ingredientsFlan batter, black cherries, powdered sugar
Other informationIt can also be made with apples, pears, etc.

Clafoutis (French pronunciation: ​[klafuti]; Occitan: clafotís [klafuˈtis] or [kʎafuˈtiː]), sometimes spelled clafouti in Anglophone countries, is a baked French dessert of fruit, traditionally black cherries,[1] arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm, sometimes with cream.

A traditional Limousin clafoutis contains not only the flesh of the cherries used, but also the nut-like kernels.[2] Cherry kernels contain benzaldehyde, the compound responsible for the dominant flavour in almond extract.[3] They also contain a small amount of amygdalin, a cyanogenic glycoside - a compound potentially capable of releasing cyanide if consumed, but non-toxic in small quantities.[4]


Clafoutis comes from the Limousin region of France, and while black cherries are traditional, there are numerous variations using other fruits, including red cherries, plums, prunes, apples, pears, cranberries or blackberries.[5] When other kinds of fruit are used instead of cherries, the dish is properly called a flaugnarde.

One reported derivation of dish's name is from Occitan clafotís, from the verb clafir, meaning "to fill" (implied: "the batter with cherries").[6]. Another reported derivation is that clafir comes from old French claufir, meaning "to fix with nails,"[7] explained as the cherries having the appearance of nail heads.[8] Clafoutis apparently spread throughout France during the 19th century.[citation needed]

Cultural references[edit]

In her autobiographical novel The War: A Memoir, French resister and writer Marguerite Duras carefully gathers up the rationed ingredients to make her husband a clafoutis when he returns from the concentration camps, only to find that he is too weak from malnutrition and exposure to eat it.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wells, Patricia (1991). Simply French. New York, N.Y.: William Morrow and Company, Inc. p. 276. ISBN 9780688066420. OCLC 23771182.
  2. ^ "Clafoutis". The Concise Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Cookery Encyclopedia (Revised ed.). London: Hamlyn, a division of Octopus Publishing Group. 2003-04-15 [1998]. p. 311. ISBN 978-0600608639.
  3. ^ "cherry clafoutis – A Toast and Tea". A Toast and Tea. July 6, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  4. ^ Nick, Jean (July 25, 2018). "Are Stone Fruit Seeds Poisonous? What to Know About Cherry, Peach, and Plum Pits". Good Housekeeping. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  5. ^ Larousse Gastronomique, Clarkson Potter Publishers
  6. ^ The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. Oxford University Press. 2015-04-01. ISBN 9780199313617.
  7. ^ "Dictionnaire de l'Académie française, 9th edition online". Retrieved 2021-11-19.
  8. ^ "Wiktionary". Retrieved 2021-11-19.
  9. ^ Duras, Marguerite (1986). The War: A Memoir. Trans Barbara Bray. New York: The New Press, 1986, p. 55. Published in French as La Douleur, 1985.