Clafoutis- Would Julia Cringe?

Tuesday would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday.  People everywhere paid homage making her favorite dishes and desserts.  I reveled in stories throughout the day reading how she inspired, taught, made you laugh and showed us how to enjoy French food.  I also did something that might have caused her to cringe; I made a vegan, gluten-free version of Julia’s clafoutis.

Actually I made two clafoutis (pronounced Kla-foo-TEE) that day: plum and brandied cherry.  I picked loads of plums with my friend Margie at her neighbor John’s Ranch in Plymouth, CA.  What a treat to visit with him.  There’s history behind that ranch!

John & Margie enjoying a break

For the second one I used brandied cherries, which I’d made and canned a month ago.

My inspiration for this version came from Karina Allrich, the Gluten-Free Goddess®.  Her recent clafoutis was not only gluten-free, it was dairy and refined sugar free. And her description, it swept me off my feet like the man of my dreams did fifteen years ago.

Ok, I know it’s hard to replace butter, sugar, cream and flour.  Julia said if you don’t like butter use cream.  Karina successfully replaced them using almond milk, maple syrup, gluten-free flour, and a vegan butter alternative.

The only change I made to Karina’s recipe was using a mixture of maple syrup and agave nectar, and omitting the sale.  I used all coconut milk in both my cherry and plum versions too.

It’s custardy and pillow light.  It’s rich and silky on your palate (think fine red wine).  It’s a sweet version of umami- indescribably vegan delightful.

Red and Yellow Plum Clafoutis

Cherry (or Plum) Gluten-Free Clafoutis


1 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk or coconut milk

4 organic free-range eggs

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup brown rice flour or sorghum flour

1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract

3 cups fresh cherries, pitted


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. With your favorite vegan butter (I used Earthbalance), grease the bottom and sides of an 8×12-inch oval baking dish.  (I used my oval dutch oven for the second clafoutis, having only one oval dish; it worked fine.)

Using a blender or mixer, whip the almond milk, eggs, maple syrup, coconut flour, brown rice flour, and vanilla extract until smooth and frothy.

Pour roughly half an inch of batter into the buttered oval dish. Bake it in the oven until lightly set- just a few minutes. Take the baking dish out of the oven and add the cherries in an even layer. Pour on the remaining batter.

Return the dish to the oven and bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, until golden around the edges, and set in the center.

Although it’s wonderful served warm right out of the oven, consuming chilled leftover pieces also made us smile.

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