Clafoutis is a dessert made with a sweet egg batter which originated in the Limousin region of France. While it is traditionally made with fresh unstoned cherries, you can also make it with other sunny fruits from apricots to plums and blueberries to raspberries. You need to make it in the dish in which are you serving it as you can’t turn it out.
You need an 8-inch baking dish or 4 x 3 inch baking dishes.
Knob of softened butter to grease the baking dish(es)
450g fresh cherries
100g plain flour
120g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
3 eggs free-range or organic
Icing sugar for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Oil the baking dish(es). Grease the baking dishes lightly with butter. Spread the cherries out evenly in the larger dish or divide them between the smaller dishes.
2. Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together. Add the eggs to the centre of the mixture. Slowly whisk or beat the eggs into the flour, working your way out and gathering more flour in as you go (like making pancakes). When you have incorporated all the flour whisk or beat the mixture until smooth for 30 seconds.
3. Add the milk little by little, whisking it in and only pouring more when the first lot is incorporated. When all the milk has been used up and the batter is smooth, place the baking dish(es) on the centre rack of the oven and pour the batter over the cherries carefully. You may not need all of it and you need to leave room at the top of the dish for the clafoutis to rise. Close the oven door and bake for 30-40 minutes for one large baking dish and 20-25 minutes for the small baking dishes. To check if it is done: the clafoutis should be risen and golden and a skewer should emerge clean from the centre of the batter. Dust the clafoutis with icing sugar and serve warm with fresh cream.
Clafoutis recipe tip
If you don’t have a skewer to check whether the batter is cooked, break off a piece of uncooked spaghetti and use that instead. It works just as well.
The stones in the cherries give clafoutis a particular flavour and traditionally sucking the flesh from the fruit as you eat the dish is part of its charm. However, you should use stoned cherries if you are serving the clafoutis to a child or elderly person. When you remove the stones from the fruit you lose the juice and the Clafoutis can become soggy.
THe word ‘clafoutis’ comes from a word in the provincial dialect and means ‘to fill’ according to French Regional Cooking by Joel Robuchon and Loic Bienassis.
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