Clafoutis

This is a simpler dessert than a fruit tart, and the only thing that takes time is the preparation of the fruit.

Cherries and apricots are suitable fruit for baking in a batter pudding. Watery acidic fruits such as rhubarb and gooseberries do not work as well, and I would not use soft fruit in this way, except for blueberries and bilberries. Sliced apples or pears, halved plums, stoned greengages, when in season, will all make very good puddings, particularly if you add a little matching eau de vie or liqueur to the batter.

Alternatively, flavour a crème chantilly to serve with it. Yoghurt, fromage blanc, crème fraiche, single, double or clotted cream are all suitable accompaniments, or you can serve a thick sauce or thin syrup of the same fruit or complementary fruit.

The rest of the ingredients are inexpensive and readily available in most of our store cupboards and refrigerators – milk, butter, eggs, sugar and flour. Clafoutis is almost identical to the English ‘hasty pudding’, a thick batter poured over fruit and baked in the oven. Although clafoutis can be served straight from the oven, I like it best when just warm.

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Ingredients

  • 50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 2 free-range egg yolks
  • 5 heaped tablespoons self-raising flour
  • 300 mls (½ pint) milk
  • 1 tablespoon kirsch – optional
  • 50 g (2 oz) sugar
  • 350 g (12 oz) stoned cherries or apricots

Method

Butter generously a 20-25 cm (8-10 inch) pie dish or qiche dish, place on a baking sheet, and put in the oven. Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs, flour, milk, kirsch and sugar together until smooth. Remove the hot pie dish from the oven, pour on half the batter, then add the fruit and remaining butter and the rest of the batter. Return the dish on the baking tray to the oven as quickly as possible. Lower the heat to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3, and bake for 45 to 60 minutes.

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