I DON’T BAKE MUCH THESE DAYS, BUT IN ANOTHER LIFE I was the Queen of Pie (and even baked all my bread, too). Even though I rarely cut or rub cold butter into flour for a crust any longer, I’ve found a shortcut to homemade fruit dessert that’s served me faithfully since I hung up my rolling pin. No surprise that I attribute the find to my old friend Martha Stewart, who taught me many things—including clafoutis, a simple, custardy backdrop to the peaches that are looking good around now.
I love clafoutis (kla-foo-tee), a humble French concoction that’s like a Huffy-Puffy or Dutch Baby or German pancake–whatever you call it, that’s my favorite Christmas-morning food. But the clafoutis is sweeter and has fruit inside. If you have 3 cups of fruit and some kitchen basics like milk and eggs and flour, you can make this dessert very last-minute, even just as you sit down to eat the main course, another selling factor. Easy, yet quite impressive.
Though clafoutis is traditionally made with cherries, as it was in the recipe Martha shared in her must-have 1995 cookbook, “The Martha Stewart Cookbook: Collected Recipes for Every Day” (affiliate link), I’ve come to regard her batter as the universal solvent for all things fruit.
With it, I have since made clafoutis from peaches, plums, pears, various berries, cherries, and mixes of fresh fruit and dried (such as by adding a handful of dried cranberries or cherries to pears or peaches; raisins and pears might be good). Get out your blender to make the solvent:
martha’s clafoutis batter, my adaptation
- ½ cup sugar (reserve 1 Tbsp. to dust baking dish)
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a blender, combine the ingredients, and blend on high for 1 minute, scraping the sides once midway.
Into a 9-inch glass pie dish or a fluted porcelain tart dish that has been buttered first and dusted with the reserved 1 Tablespoon of sugar, pour half the batter.
Arrange 3 cups of sliced fruit of your choice in the partly filled pan. Pour on the remaining batter and bake at 350F until the top puffs and starts to turn golden-brown, about 45-60 minutes.
Note: Everyone’s clafoutis batter is a little different (just as is everyone’s pancake batter or pie crust, though the basics are the same). Martha even has more than one on her website. For example, Mark Bittman uses milk and cream, and even has one version made with clementines. You may like more fruit or more custard on balance. Experiment, and enjoy.
Margaret, yes, different amounts of ingredients work. I use less flour and more milk, which I suppose makes it a bit more custardy. I’ve made it with just about every fruit there is and quite agree with you about the batter being “the universal solvent for all things fruit.”
Thank you so much for reminding me about this delicious dish. In my area, blueberry picking season is about to begin. Yum!
Stay healthy, Margaret, and thank you for all the interesting information you send our way, always in such a beautiful and enjoyable form.
The first time I encountered the clafoutis recipe was from Julia Child. Her instructions included a first step of putting the tart dish on the stove for a bit before putting it in the oven. I followed her instructions and put my porcelain tart pan with all the batter and fruit on our electric stove top. The pan proceeded to crack and all the the clafoutis poured out over and into the hot cook top. Obviously I have skipped this first step ever after.
Thank you this was just what I needed! I love your advice and the way you write. I have blackcurrants and gooseberries in my garden, plus some in the freezer from last summer, which I have yet to turn into something delicious. Gooseberry fool is nice…basically whipped cream and stewed gooseberries in some sugar.
Has anyone tried making a gluten-free batter? I have almond flour and wonder if it would work? Thanks!
Yes, I made some changes: 1/4 cup sweetener, 1/4 cup almond flour, 2 tbsp. coconut flour, 1/2 cup cream, 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 1/2 cups fruit. Same baking instructions. It is delicious. We use granulated swerve for a sweetener.
We have a good friend who has a tart cherry tree in his front garden, and every year for many years we have enjoyed clafoutis made with his cherries and this recipe around 4th of July. I have some frozen and they will make a fine dessert tonight – clafoutis, of course! Thank you, Margaret!
Clafouti made with sour cherries was just excellent.
You are great
All the best,
Margaret, I will stick with making Dutch Babies, because they only need 20 minutes in the oven to bake – TRULY a dessert that you can put into the oven as you are just sitting down to eat dinner. my favorite way to make it is with fresh or frozen Rhubarb – Yumm!!! I may never make a pie again!!!
I can’t wait to make this !! Adrienne
OK I will try making this NOW! I got my Hungarian Dark Sour Cherries from Don Baker Farm in Hudson, NY! Will use home made yogurt instead of cream. Wish me luck! ?
Thanks 4 a marv rainy day, in lieu of actually gardening:)
Thanks for this recipe! I made it (cutting sugar by half) for my stepmother’s 85th birthday celebration; she loved it. What a wonderful way to introduce more fruit into our days.
I love to make (and my husband loves to eat) Dutch Babies, and the idea of making a very similar (and easy) batter with seasonal (or a mixture of dried fruits added) to it makes it extra yummy and a wonderful way to use a lot of what our summer crops have to offer!
With the Dutch Babies, I usually made frozen berries heated on the stove as a warmed compote and poured that over the top, especially in the winter months…this is a lovely variation. Thanks for the additional suggestion!