Clafoutis: noun [klah-foo-tee] a tart made of fruit, especially cherries, baked in a thick, sweet batter.
My mother gave me this berry clafoutis recipe about twenty-five years ago after I had picked blueberries with my boys while visiting her in Rhode Island. She had written the recipe on a piece of scrap paper. There are scraps of paper like this all over her kitchen. Mom suggested I make a clafoutis with the blueberries. I had no idea what a clafoutis was, but I made it. It was delicious … and easy. Over the course of that summer, I baked clafoutis of every variety: strawberry, blackberry, pear, apple and plum. They all worked. Little did I know I would be making this recipe for the rest of my life.
Recipes like this, that really work and are beloved, go into a spiral-bound recipe book I was given as a wedding gift over 30 years ago. I travel with this notebook. If there was a fire in the house, after getting the people out, I’d grab this notebook next. Before holidays, I often get emails from relatives asking for specific recipes from this book, like my Grandmother’s cranberry chutney recipe and my mother’s pumpkin pie recipe. My Auntie Terry once emailed me, while she was traveling, to ask if I could send her her fried cauliflower batter recipe. I love how my role as keeper-of-the-recipes keeps me connected to my family.
This recipe is probably the simplest and quickest one @judyschickens. It tastes good hot out of the oven for dessert, or cold the next morning for breakfast. If you want to serve it at a dinner party, you can make it taste a little richer by substituting cream for some of the milk and by sifting confectioner’s sugar over the top after you have baked it. The best part is you can make it with ingredients you already have in the house: eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla and fruit, which makes it perfect for a last-minute dessert on a summer evening.
3 large eggs. *I had a very small egg from my chickens that I threw in!
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1¼ cups milk, or a combination of milk and cream
2 cups fruit. If you use apples or pears, peel, core, and slice thinly.
Preheat oven to 350º
Generously butter a 9-inch pie plate
You can make this batter in a food processor, with a mixer, or in a bowl with a whisk or fork. Just be sure to add the milk after you have mixed the other ingredients or the flour will form clumps.
Beat eggs for about 30 seconds. Add flour, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and salt.
Mix until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Add milk and mix on slow speed until batter is well blended, about 30 seconds.
Pour batter into a buttered pie pan.
Add fruit. Be sure to dry the fruit after washing it. Adding wet fruit to the batter sometimes causes water to pool on the surface as the clafoutis cooks. If that happens, I open the oven door, lay a paper towel over the top, just for a second, and mop up the excess moisture, and then continue baking.
Bake in a preheated oven for 45-55 minutes. The clafoutis should be lightly browned and puffed on top. Test for doneness by inserting a knife into the center. It will come out clean if the interior is cooked. If it doesn’t come out clean, cook for 5 more minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. The pouf will settle down.
Clafoutis-Making, Part 2
My Aunt Rachelle and I were cooking dinner together last week and decided to make clafoutis using cherries that were already in the refrigerator. We made a mess cutting the pits out of the cherries. While it didn’t impact the taste of the clafoutis one iota — it was still gone in sixty seconds — it wasn’t very pretty.
Last night, I was determined to try a cherry clafoutis again and this time make it pretty. That called for a quick stop at Williams and Sonoma to pick up a cherry (and olive) pitter. This time, I was making the clafoutis with Rachelle’s daughter, Elizabeth. We couldn’t wait to get home and try the cherry pitter. What a great tool! Knowing my husband likes to study how mechanical devices work, I tried to Tom Sawyer him into pitting the cherries, but he didn’t take the bait. No worries, the pitter makes quick work of removing cherry pits.
In this clafoutis version, I substituted one 8-ounce carton of heavy cream for 1 cup of the milk and used ¼ cup of 2% milk for the remainder.
The results were spectacular, albeit more calories! The fat in the batter made the clafoutis rise sky-high before it settled back down as it cooled. It looks very different from the photos of the strawberry and cherry clafoutis shown above. Here it is sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. This version makes for a lovely dessert.
So, clafoutis are a crustless “tart made of fruit, especially cherries, baked in a thick, sweet batter.”
Hope you enjoy!
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