For an authentic, gourmet dessert served in French bistros and homes, try making a clafouti. Somewhere between a custard and cake, it’s a simple, eggy batter poured over fruit and baked. The crisp outside and edges contrast with the more pudding-like interior.
Clafoutis were originally made with unpitted sweet cherries, the pits imparting a subtle almond flavor. These days, pitted cherries are commonly used, with an added drop or two of almond extract. Clafoutis are now also made with different fruits: berries, apples, pears, fresh figs and other stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines and plums. It’s the very essence of summer in dessert form.
- 3 c. fresh fruit, cut into bite-sized chunks or slices if necessary — berries, cherries, peaches, etc., singly or in combination. Frozen fruit (unthawed) may be substituted
- 3 T. butter plus additional for greasing the baking dish
- 4 large eggs
- 1 c. whole milk
- 1/4 - 1/2 c. sugar — use the larger amount if fruits are very tart/sour
- 1/2 - 2/3 c. flour (The larger amount of flour will make the clafouti more cake-like; the smaller amount more custardy)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1-2 drops almond extract, optional (best used with stone fruits such as cherries or peaches
- 1 tsp. lemon zest, optional Confectioner’s sugar for serving
Preheat the oven to 400. Butter a two-quart baking dish. Melt the 3T. butter in a small skillet, then remove from the heat.
Beat the eggs until frothy, then whisk in all the remaining ingredients except the fruit. This can be done by hand, or with a mixer, blender, or food processor.
Scatter the fruit evenly in the baking dish. Pour the batter over the fruit. Bake 35-45 minutes, or until the clafouti is puffed and golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve warm, dusted with the confectioner’s sugar, accompanied by ice cream or whipped cream if desired.