Food & Wine (April 2010)
"Clafoutis" (pronounced kla-foo-TEE) is:
A. The name of our dog.
B. An exclamation of surprise in the South.
C. Fruit in batter, baked.
The answer, of course, is C. (We don't even have a dog. But we do sorta like the idea of exclaiming, "Well, kla-foo-TEE!" when we're surprised by something.)
A clafoutis is a French dessert traditionally made with cherries, in which the fruit is placed in a dish, covered in batter, and then baked.
We'd never had a clafoutis, so we can't speak to how it tastes with cherries. We were, however, intrigued by this version of the dessert from Food & Wine that uses raspberries. Their photo, which you can see below, was so beautiful and spring-like, we had to make it when friends came over for dinner last week.
As for as uncomplicated desserts go, clafoutis is easy breezy. Whisk flour, sugar and salt with eggs, butter and lemon zest. Add milk. Pour it into the baking dish, drop in the fruit and pop it in the oven. The assembly takes 15 minutes at the very longest. There's no crust to deal with -- no complicated steps.
In the oven, the custard sets, suspending the raspberries in a custard that's neither runny nor overly hard. Once it cools and is dusted with powered sugar, it's ready to serve.
Everyone at our table enjoyed the clafoutis. Since none of us had ever tasted one, it was a novel dessert. It's not overly sweet and has a certain lightness to it. And we were taken by the idea of raspberries in a flan-like custard.
But it wasn't amazing. There were no moans of ecstasy at the table. (Then again, for a Thursday night dinner, maybe moans of ecstasy are not what you need in a dessert.)
If you're looking for a dessert that's not too heavy, this would be nice. And we may return to this recipe later this year, when summer fruit is piling up in our kitchen.
Honestly, though, we'd probably be just as happy with a bowl of raspberries and cream.
But hey, if you haven't made one before, give it a try. You may love it.
ACTIVE: 20 MIN
TOTAL TIME: 50 MIN
-- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
-- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
-- 3 large eggs
-- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
-- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
-- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
-- 1 1/2 pints raspberries (3 cups)
-- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch gratin dish. In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt. Whisk in the eggs, butter and lemon zest until smooth. Add the milk and whisk until light and very smooth, about 3 minutes. Pour the batter into the gratin dish and top with the raspberries.
2. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the clafoutis is set and golden. Let cool slightly. Dust with confectioners' sugar, cut into wedges and serve.