Looking for a no-fuss dessert? Try a cranberry clafoutis, a classic custard-like pie that’s a cinch to make. Serve it warm with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Why you’ll love it: A clafoutis is similar to a pie, but without all the hassle. It’s delicious, and it’s low calorie, too.
How long it takes: about 10 minutes to prep, and 35 minutes to bake
Equipment you’ll need: blender, cast iron pan
A dessert that you can throw together and have it in the oven in ten minutes? Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? And it’s a delicious dessert: golden baked custard studded with jewel-like cranberries, a tart contrast to the creamy filling.
Clafoutis originated in France ages ago. They are traditionally made with sweet cherries but I think you’ll love this version with tart cranberries. Cranberries are perfect for the holidays and they contrast nicely with the custard, a sweet/tart combo that can’t be beat.
Even better, cranberries rank right up there nutrition-wise. They have lots of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber (Healthline). They are low in calories. They store well, too, in either the fridge or freezer. Cranberries are abundant in the fall so a cranberry clafoutis for Thanksgiving makes perfect sense.
A serving of cranberry clafoutis has only 168 calories. Compare that to a slice of pecan pie with 500 calories!
About This Recipe
What is a clafoutis exactly? It’s a little hard to describe: it’s a mix between custard and flan, with baked fruit. The filling is made with eggs, milk, and flour and isn’t overly sweet. It forms its own crust although some recipes add a shortbread or pastry crust.
In some respects, it’s similar to a Dutch baby. The ingredients and preparation are similar; it puffs up slightly in the oven, then deflates.
You probably have everything you need to make a clafoutis. The ingredients are very simple. The batter is mixed in a blender. It’s poured into a pan, sprinkled with cranberries, and baked. It’s really that easy!
If you’re not a fan of cranberries, substitute black sweet cherries or tart red cherries (pitted), blackberries, blueberries, plums, pears, or apples. This a super versatile recipe.
When we tested this recipe, we made two clafoutis. We baked one in an enameled cast iron skillet and one in a glass pie dish. It was surprising how differently they turned out. The clafoutis baked in cast iron browned nicely and had a decidedly better texture than the pie dish one.
I’ll run through the basics of the recipe here and give you some extra tips. The recipe card below has specific measurements, instructions, and nutrition information.
What you’ll need
- Milk: Whole milk will give you the best creamy rich texture. Half & half is great, too.
- Eggs: The recipe calls for three large eggs.
- All-Purpose Flour: You’ll need ¾ cup of flour.
- Sugar: This dessert isn’t overly sweet, with only a half cup of sugar.
- Unsalted Butter: Always use unsalted butter unless directed otherwise. Don’t substitute butter spreads, etc. Melt the butter in the microwave at low to medium power. I usually cover the dish to contain any spatters.
- Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Paste: Either will work but vanilla bean paste has the little brown flecks that are visually more appealing.
- Orange Zest: Orange really complements cranberries; it’s a traditional pairing.
- Cranberries: I usually use frozen cranberries because they’re always available, no matter the season. There’s no need to thaw them before using.
- Powdered Sugar/Confectioner’s Sugar: A light dusting of sugar adds visual appeal.
How to make it
Let’s get started on your clafoutis! Preheat the oven and generously butter a cast iron skillet. Wash, sort, and drain the cranberries if you’re using fresh ones. Pat them dry.
In a blender, combine the milk, eggs, flour, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla.
Blend until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary. Once it’s smooth, stir in the zest.
Pour the batter into the prepared skillet.
Sprinkle the cranberries evenly over the top.
Bake the clafoutis until it’s lightly golden brown and set in the center. Insert a toothpick in the center, avoiding the cranberries. It should come out clean.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool slightly. Dust with powdered sugar and serve while warm.
A clafoutis tastes a bit like a custard or flan; the texture may remind you of bread pudding. It can be made with a variety of fruits but traditionally, it’s made with cherries. The fruit is baked into the clafoutis. Added flavors may include almond, vanilla, or citrus zest.
A cranberry clafoutis is not only easy to make, it’s also fun to to say. Pronounce it: kluh·foo·tee. It sounds like something you’d say when someone sneezes. Am I being weird? Probably.
To clarify, the “s” is silent and the plural is the same as the singular.
While cranberries are very tart and usually aren’t eaten plain, they add spectacular flavor to baked goods and sauces. Try cranberry pecan pie; cranberry coffee cake; roasted cranberry sauce with grapes, shallots, and apples; cranberry salsa; or cranberry BBQ sauce. Serve cinnamon apple cranberry sauce with your Thanksgiving dinner.
Make It Your Own
- Make your clafoutis with black sweet cherries, tart red cherries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, or sliced plums, apples, or pears. I personally can’t wait to try a blueberry clafoutis! My freezer is packed with tons of blueberries; we got a little carried away with blueberry picking this summer.
- Experiment with different flavorings: almond extract (especially with cherries), cinnamon or nutmeg, lime or lemon zest instead of orange zest.
- Make mini clafoutis: Butter 6 small ramekins, arrange them on a baking pan, and evenly divide the batter and cranberries between them. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden and set.
Clafoutis is best served while it’s fresh and warm. It can be refrigerated for a day or so but the texture won’t be as nice. It doesn’t freeze well.
- Heat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 10 inch cast iron skillet that is at least 1 ½ inches deep.
- In a blender, combine milk, eggs, flour, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Stir in orange zest.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle cranberries evenly on top of batter.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until clafoutis is set and lightly golden brown on top. A toothpick inserted near the middle (avoiding the cranberries) should come out clean.
- Let cool slightly. Dust with powdered sugar, cut into slices, and serve.
- Clafoutis is best served right away. It will keep in the refrigerator for a day but it tends to get a bit soggy. It does not freeze well.
- We also tested this recipe in a clear glass 10 inch pie pan. It didn’t brown as nicely and had a denser texture.
- Other fruit can be substituted: black sweet cherries, tart cherries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, sliced plums, pears, or apples.
- Make mini clafoutis: Butter 6 ramekins, divide batter and fruit evenly between them, set them on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until set.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.