Sour cherries, sometimes called pie cherries, have a very short season (late June into July), and we race to pick them before the birds do, so we can whip up this traditional French country dessert­–a cross between a tart and a pancake. If you miss the fresh sour cherry season, you can get water-or syrup-packed sour cherries in jars (drain before using).


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 ¼ pounds sour cherries, pitted
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kirsch (cherry brandy) or 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

Additional Information

  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 45m


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Use the butter to grease a 9-inch pie plate.

Place the cherries in the pie plate. Put the flour in a large bowl. Whisk the milk into the flour until smooth, then whisk in the cream, 1/3 cup of sugar, the kirsch, and the eggs until well combined. Pour the batter over the cherries. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and bake for 45 minutes, or until set. Let cool slightly on a rack and serve warm. (The clafouti will fall as it cools.)


Substitute sweet cherries for the sour cherries and reduce the sugar to ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons.

This recipe can be found in our Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook.

by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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Kristina Hughes

Any tips on removing the pits?

About how many of these sour cherries are in a pound? (I don’t have a scale)

We have a new house and it came with a dwarf sour cherry tree and I’m glad to have found this b/c they don’t taste all that great eaten off the tree.

Jimmy T

Your best bet is to buy a small hand held cherry pitter. They are not very expensive and can also be used for pitting olives. In a pinch I have also used a grapefruit knife (with a bent tip). You stick the bent tip in the cherry, give it a twist and pull back at the same time and the pit usually pops right out. Takes a little practice but it’s easy once you get the hang of it. Hope this helps!

Jimmy T

Quick question…
I still have a few Montmorency cherries in the freezer from the last harvest and the Cherry Clafouti seems like a great way to use them. The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of vanilla. Is this correct? Seems like a lot.


Janice Dianne Milligan

Brent & Josh my Mom and Grandmother
made Potato Salad the same way simple
and delicious.
When you left Evine we felt a loss of a friend
we’re so happy our neighbors are back,
much success at HSN I got a good supply
of your goodies and God bless the baby goats.