Butter an 8 cup shallow baking/casserole pan, or combination of smaller baking dishes for individual servings. Lightly sprinkle the buttered dish with granulated sugar to coat. Spread the cherries evenly across the bottom of the pan(s). Set aside.
In the carafe of a blender combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, almond and vanilla extracts, eggs, milk, cream, flour and salt. Blend for 1 minute or until frothy. Alternatively, whisk, blend or beat the ingredients together in a medium bowl until combined and frothy.
Gently pour the custard mixture into the dish with the fruit. Try not to cover the cherries completely. The dessert is prettiest when the cherries peek through the top of the custard. Sprinkle with sliced almonds if using. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the middle has a slight jiggle.
Cool the clafoutis for 15-20 minutes and serve warm dusted with powdered sugar and soft whipped cream if desired.
The base custard recipe was originally adapted from Woman’s Day