Clafoutis, the Dessert With a Catchy Name
Clafoutis. Catchy name or confounding? Well, if you're French, it just rolls off the tongue, but if you're the rest of us, it kind of gets caught. So, catchy it is.
How about Flaugnarde? Yes, an even catchier name. Recipe is very similar. And we have our own Dutch Baby Pancake, which is an Americanized version. It's not exactly the same, but the recipes have many similarities and the most important one is that they're all easy to execute...and to eat. So easy to prepare, in fact, that you can toss everything in the blender and let it mix for you.
And most clafoutis recipes are so similar that even the variations seem more alike than different. The classic clafoutis recipe is generally 2 cups of fruit, 3 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla and 1/2 cup flour. Julia Child's recipe calls for a little more milk and a pinch of salt. Some recipes have more fruit, while others use less. Generally, the clafoutis puffs up and then falls, so don't faint when that happens. It will happen. My recipe yields just a little more, because I like a generous serving for all of my friends and family. You can find it here.
|I'm ready for my close-up!|
Don't gild the lily. I love a dessert that is not too sweet, so I present and serve the clafoutis with just a dusting of powdered sugar and enjoy the fluffy custard-like texture and freshness of the fruit. If you can't help yourself, a spoonful of lightly sweetened whipped cream would be fine, but this is not a cake, or a crumble or a pie, so try to resist the urge to cover it in layers of vanilla ice cream.
Use the best fruit you can find. If they're properly ripened, they will taste better. Traditionally, pitted stone fruit like plums, cherries and apricots are used. Today, it's anything goes, even in France, so gather all of your mixed berries and use them up in your new favorite dessert. Here's my recipe.
|Pitted plums cut into large pieces in this clafoutis that I made for a friend.|
It's the pits! Yes, it's the pits that make it. It is said that, in the Limousin region of France, where Clafoutis originated, the pits were not removed from the cherries before baking. As horrible as this may sound, I can honestly say it's not any worse than removing an olive pit from your mouth after removing the meat with your teeth. In fact, I can report that it's much easier!
Serving is easy too. You can cut it into squares or into a pie shape, or you can do as I do and spoon it into a bowl while it's still hot. Hit it with more powdered sugar, and life is good, good, good!
Don't get caught red-handed. Using cherries WITH the pits is so much better than having to pit them, don't you think? It's also faster, and you can eat dessert that much sooner.
|Push down on the cherry with a knife and roll away from you. Remove the pit.|
|Pitting cherries is the pits!|