Rachel is a good friend and fellow food enthusiast. In this month’s Guest Test Kitchen she shares a beloved family recipe for clafoutis, which is a French custard-pie-like dessert with fruit baked throughout. We’re honored to have her as one of our guest contributors. This recipe looks delightful, and we can’t wait to make it for ourselves. Here’s Rachel with more–enjoy!
“When I think of home, I think of my father’s cooking. He is a natural chef, and for years, has dedicated his time, energy, and heart to feeding our family well. He himself grew up in a culinary household—his mother learned to cook at Le Cordon Bleu during a year the family spent in Paris in the early 1950s. When I graduated from high school and left home, my father gifted me with a handwritten book of favorite family and other recipes. In the book’s foreword, he wrote, ‘To cook for people is to nourish them. It is a way of saying, I love you, I want you to thrive, to enjoy life.’
It is with that sentiment that I share my family recipe for clafoutis (also known as a flaugnarde). It is difficult to describe the texture and taste of clafoutis, but it falls somewhere between a custard and pancake, only with fruit baked in. All you really need to know is that it is French in origin and it is delicious.
Clafoutis – Serves 6-8 people (depending on how big you slice it)
Meal: Dessert, brunch, sweet snack
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour plus a few minutes
Cooking temperature: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
Cookware: I either use a 10-inch fry pan or an 11-inch oval casserole dish but you can use what you have. Just don’t use a dish that is very small in diameter because the clafoutis won’t cook all the way through if the batter is too deep.
1 1/4 cups milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
3 cups apricots, pitted, if necessary, and cut into bite-sized pieces (The dish can be made with your choice of cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, pears, or apples.)
Step 1: Make the batter
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the milk, eggs, vanilla, salt, flour, and 1/3 cup sugar well.
Step 2: Set the “crust”
Put your pan on the stovetop for a minute and melt a little butter in it. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in a very thin layer of batter. Place the pan into the pre-heated oven and bake for 1-2 minutes until the thin layer of batter is set, and remove the pan from the oven.
Step 3: Add the rest
Add the fruit evenly atop the set layer of batter in the pan, then pour in the remaining liquid batter. Finally, sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup sugar evenly across the batter and fruit mix. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 55-60 minutes. **BE CAREFUL when putting the pan back in the oven. I have, on more than one occasion, forgotten that the handle was hot and burned my palm. Ouch!
Step 4: Remove from the oven and cool
Stick a toothpick or knife into the center of the pan. If it comes out clean, the clafoutis is done. Note: some fruits are juicier than others, so there may be some moisture on the utensil from the fruit—just use your judgment. If the utensil comes out moist, I tend to cook the clafoutis for a few extra minutes because I prefer a firmer texture.
Step 5: Slice, serve and, if you have leftovers, store it
Clafoutis is delicious warm (not piping hot), at room temperature, or cold. It is excellent by itself or with a dollop of ice cream on top. If you manage not to eat the whole clafoutis in one sitting (a rare occurrence in my household), refrigerate it and enjoy within a few days. I find that it makes a delicious breakfast treat the night after a dinner party!
From my family to yours, bon appétit!”
Click HERE for printable recipe.