Clafoutis, from Limousin in France, is an easy baked dessert comprising a thick batter with black cherries – if any other fruit is used then the dish should be called “Flaugnarde”.
It is best not to over beat the batter as the protein in the flour will open up to form long elastic strands – this makes the dessert chewy and tough. As with many other recipes for batter, I mix the batter until combined, strain through a sieve lightly pressing through with the back of a small ladle (to remove any lumps). You may need more or less sugar than included in the recipe, taste the fruit and if it is tart, add a little more sugar to suit your personal tastes.
Black cherries are my favourite and whilst it is traditional to leave the fruit unpitted, I remove the stones for safety – especially when children are dining. Second – wild bilberries and apricots followed closely by nectarines (and peaches if the skin is removed). If using plums, apricots, nectarines or peaches – after removing the stones – you can either halve the fruit and place cut side down or thickly slice.
For the recipe below you would need a 30 cm by 20 cm buttered ovenproof dish (or similar), I always use glass.
Always allow the batter to relax before baking – bake in the region of 175ºC and eat while warm or at room temperature; my personal preference is warm. While the dessert will rise during baking, it will also deflate as it cools.
If using frozen berries, put into a colander or sieve and allow to defrost, gently fold into the batter. I also like this dessert when the lemon zest and juice is replaced with orange and 30 ml of Grand Marnier (or to taste) is added to the batter to replace a the same amount of milk, this is stirred in at the end after the milk and cream.
500 grams fresh bilberries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries)
1/2 lemon or 1 small lime – finely grated zest and juice
1 tsp organic orange flower honey
50 grams plain white flour
50 grams golden caster sugar
Pinch fine sea salt
4 large fresh eggs, beaten
500 ml Jersey milk
100 ml crème fraîche or double cream
Icing sugar to dust
- Wash and check the berries, removing any damaged fruit or stems.
- Preheat oven to 175ºC. 350ºF, gas mark 4.
- Lightly butter a 20 cm by 30 cm glass ovenproof, tip in the blueberries, spread out over the base. Scatter the lemon or lime zest over the berries and drizzle with juice and honey.
- Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a large baking bowl, make a well in the centre and add the eggs.
- Mix while gradually drawing the flour into the centre from the outside
- Put the milk and crème fraîche or cream into a jug, whisk until blended then gradually add to the dry ingredients while stirring – do not over mix.
- Strain through a sieve pressing through with the back of a small ladle or tablespoon into a bowl; pour over the fruit.
- Bake for approx. 35 to 40 minutes, or until a light golden colour and puffed up.
- Serve while warm lightly dusted with sifted icing sugar.