Ripe apricots need no cooking, but if they are not quite ripe, try them in this simple pudding. Clafoutis is the name of the traditional harvest dish from central France, a baked batter pudding stuffed full of ripe cherries. The name is now used in France and elsewhere to describe dishes cooked in a similar fashion, and sometimes not so similar. I have come across clafoutis baked in pastry crusts, but I do not believe it was ever intended to be such a complicated dish. Here it is in its simplest version. Like many custard/quiche-like dishes, this is best served warm with whatever accompaniment you like, clotted cream, ice cream, yoghurt, cream, or crème fraiche.
Halve the apricots, and discard the stones.
Use half the butter to grease a pie dish, and arrange the apricot halves on the bottom. Dot with the rest of the butter.
Make a thick batter with the rest of the ingredients, and pour over the fruit. Allow to stand for 15 minutes, and then bake for about 50 minutes in the middle of a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Dust with icing sugar, and serve hot, warm or cold with cream, yoghurt, custard or vanilla ice cream.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.