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The Best Dairy-Free Clafoutis Recipe

Summer is upon us and with the long days and hot temperatures comes another treat: fresh fruit. What better way to incorporate some of the idyllic tastes of summer than in a light and airy dessert?

If you haven't heard of the French dessert Clafoutis before, you're missing out on a dish that's perfect...for both pie AND custard lovers. Even better yet, it's the perfect dish for breakfast OR brunch. Who doesn't want to start their day with a delectable sweet meal?

While Clafoutis is traditionally made with cow's milk, we have the best dairy-free Clafoutis recipe out there. It's so easy to make, you'll be whipping it up multiple times a week this summer. Read on to learn more about this French delicacy and the best plant-based alternatives to use in the recipe. 

What Is Clafoutis?

Think of Clafoutis as a giant baked pancake or soufflé that's overflowing with fruit. The batter is made up of flour, milk, sugar, and eggs. When baked, it turns into a thick custard whose texture is similar to flan. 

Cherry Clafoutis is an incredible French dessert for your summer table. It's a lighter, more elegant version of a cherry cobbler. It's super easy to make, packs in a ton of flavor, and will wow all of your guests this summer. 

Clafoutis is perfect to make this time of year since it's cherry season and that's the typical fruit of choice for this dessert. However, other fruits can easily be substituted. Enjoy Clafoutis all year long or swap out fresh cherries with another type of berry. 

Easy Swaps in this Recipe

Some other fruits you can use in this dessert include:

  • Raspberries
  • Peaches
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Pears
  • Strawberries
  • Apricots
  • Plums
  • Citrus

The cherries aren't the only ingredient that can be swapped for another one. You can experiment with different types of milk (read on below for more on that) and flour to make the recipe dairy-free and gluten-free.  

To make a gluten-free Cherry Clafoutis, you can use gluten-free flour. There are many different types of gluten-free flours out there, so make sure you find one that's 1:1. 

What Milk Should I Use?

Everyone loves the flavor of almond or cashew milk and their creaminess is the perfect substitute for dairy milk when making a dairy-free Cherry Clafoutis. If you're looking for a more sustainable option than the traditional kinds of milk you can buy in the store, look no further than JOI.

JOI is shelf-stable concentrate and you can make whatever amount you need when you need it. Don't worry about a gallon of cashew or almond milk going bad in your refrigerator any longer. Simply mix JOI in with water and voila—creamy, delicious almond milk.  Plus, using a concentrate reduces packaging waste and improves your carbon footprint!

While you may want to reach for a can of coconut milk because it can also give you that full fat creaminess you want when whipping together the batter, it also leaves you with the coconut flavor. That might not be a flavor that's agreeable to you when making this recipe.  Instead, make your JOI milk more creamy - just add more JOI per cup of water.

How Can It Be Easy When It Looks So Elegant?

Cherry Clafoutis is an easy summer dessert to make because you only use a few ingredients you have right in your pantry. It can also be served warm, at room temperature, or cold. Eat it right out of the oven or prep it ahead of time and store it for later (if you can resist it). 

To get started, all you need to do is blend a scant cup of filtered water with two tablespoons of JOI plant base for 30 seconds on medium-high speed.  If you want your milk to be more creamy, just add in more JOI.You can use almond, oat or cashew, depending upon your personal preference.  Read on for a tip to save on steps and washing more dishes...

Minimal Amount of Work

Before you start on the filling, preheat your oven to 350°. For your Cherry Clafoutis, you can use a baking dish or a cast-iron skillet. Grease it with plant-based butter or coconut oil. 

While the oven is preheating, put in whatever baking vessel you're using in the oven so it can get warm as well. Pouring the batter into an already hot baking dish will make it start to set as soon as it hits the pan. Your batter will puff faster with this trick.  Just make sure your oil or butter doesn't burn!

Next, take a large mixing bowl and combine the eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, and maple syrup. Whisk well to ensure all the ingredients a thoroughly combined. 

Tip:  Don't want to mess with more bowls?  Skip the mixing bowl.  Just add all your ingredients (other than the fruit and flour) to the blender bowl and blend it all together.  Don't forget the water and JOI!

Once your liquid ingredients are blended, add whatever flour you choose and whisk it (or gently blend it) into the other ingredients until just combined. Make sure there are no lumps left:  whisk together until smooth. 

Use Fresh or Frozen Fruit

While summer is the ideal time to use frozen fruit, you might not have access to fresh cherries or other fresh fruit. You could also be making this during the off-season. Frozen fruit is a great alternative because the fruit is frozen at the peak of freshness. 

Take your stemmed and pitted cherries (fresh or frozen) or alternative fruit you are using and scatter them across your pan. Arrange them evenly. Pour the batter over the fruit. 

Keep in mind that, if you preheated your baking vessel with your oven, that it'll be hot. Be mindful that you don't burn yourself while you move quickly to get everything in the pan. 

It Cooks Quickly

Bake the dairy-free Cherry Clafoutis for 30 minutes until the edges are golden brown and set. The center should be slightly wiggly. 

Let it cool for around 10 minutes. Right before you serve it, dust with a little bit of powdered sugar. You can also top it with some dairy-free ice cream if your serving it as dessert. 

If you want to have Clafoutis leftovers the next morning or bake it fresh for brunch, consider topping with dairy-free vanilla yogurt. You can sprinkle additional fresh fruit on the top as well.

The Full Recipe! 

Serves 8-10 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup JOI cashew milk or almond milk (prepared using JOI plant base)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or 1:1 gluten-free flour or rice flour)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter (vegan) or coconut oil, for greasing the pan
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 3 cups fresh cherries (pitted and stemmed), or substitute a bag of frozen cherries 
  • Optional: powdered sugar or dairy-free ice cream, to top
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  If you desire, preheat your pan or skillet for a few minutes in the oven.
  2. Grease a 9 inch pie pan with the plant-based butter or coconut oil (or use a cast iron skillet instead).
  3. If using a blender, place a scant cup of filtered water, 2 Tablespoons of JOI plant base (almond or cashew), eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract and maple syrup in the blender and blend for at least 30 seconds.  If using a large mixing bowl, first make your JOI milk in a blender (blend a scant cup of water with 2 Tablespoons of JOI plant base (almond or cashew)).  Then in a large mixing bowl, combine the milk with the eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract and maple syrup. Whisk well.
  4. Add the flour to your blender bowl or mixing bowl and whisk or blend gently until combined and no lumps remain.
  5. In the pie pan, carefully scatter in the cherries (or other fruit) and arrange them evenly, taking care not to burn yourself if you’ve preheated your pan or skillet. 
  6. Pour the batter over the cherries.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes until the edges are golden brown and set, and the center is slightly wiggly. 
  8. Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes. Right before serving, dust with powdered sugar.  Serve with ice cream if you desire.

Make Dairy-Free Clafoutis This Summer

If you're looking for an easy summer dessert to bring to your next cookout, look no further than dairy-free Clafoutis. Not only are Clafoutis recipes easy to make, but they're more healthy than store-bought desserts because you're controlling all the ingredients. This dish is perfect for summer, or for a cold winter's night when you want to bring a little sunshine back into your life. 

Ready to make other recipes similar to Clafoutis? Check out our recipe for lemon blueberry pancakes, which are both dairy-free and gluten-free.  Or try your hand at our Dutch Baby!

 

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