Clafoutis. It appears to be one of those love it or hate desserts. Or so it seems, because a simple statement by Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen (aka Cathy Barrow) on Facebook, “I don’t get clafoutis. There. I’ve said it.” kicked off a lively round of discussion on the merits, or the lack thereof, of Clafoutis.
I am not very well acquainted with the custard-like fruity dessert that bears such an odd name. The dessert originated in the Limousin region of south-central France, a rural area that is known for it farming and oak forests. The principal city there is Limoges, which is nestled along the Venne River. The origin of the word is from a dialect clafir ‘to stuff’ or ‘to fill’. So it would seem that we are stuffing a flan-like batter with fruit.
Clafoutis is traditionally baked using black cherries, but it has been adapted over the years to include all sorts of fruit other than cherries. Technically, when using any fruit other than black cherries, it is called a flaugnarde. One thing you must be careful of when making clafoutis is using fruit that will seep too most liquid into the batter causing it to be runny instead of setting like it should. This did not come up in the discussion on Facebook.
But what did come up on Facebook is the challenge to bake a certain clafoutis recipe that one of Cathy’s friends posted and promised that everyone will love. So I made it. To me, this recipe is a dutch baby with fruit. It was much too thin to be a clafoutis recipe.
The result was good, but I still am not a huge fan of clafoutis. I prefer my custard (and my ice cream) with nothing mixed in with it. I love the creamy smoothness of custard and ice cream and anything adulterating it only masks my enjoyment of the beautifully creamy texture.
The recipe is below if you are inclined to make it. I added vanilla beans. It’s super simple and quick to make and would be perfect for a weekend breakfast.
Clafoutis (or Dutch Baby with Fruit)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean, scraped into mixture
Whisk together above ingredients until smooth.
1 cup fruit
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Butter a small pan (I used an 8″ cast-iron skillet). Combine all of the ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour into the skillet and drop in the fruit. Bake until the sides are golden brown, about 40 minutes.