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clafoutis batter, universal solvent of fruit dessert

peach clafoutisI 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.

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,” 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

ingredients:

  • 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

steps:

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 custard 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 recommends ½ cup sugar, 3 eggs, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, ¾ cup heavy cream OR plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of salt). You may like more fruit or more custard on balance. Experiment, and enjoy.

  1. 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.”

  2. Molly B says:

    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.

  3. Chrissy says:

    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.

  4. Judyth says:

    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.

    1. LouAnn says:

      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.

  5. Francine Ryan says:

    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!

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