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Clafoutis
French
Dessert
1 hour
Sweet
Easy
Serves
4 to 6

Cooking in a restaurant is frustrating sometimes in that some dishes are unachievable – a dessert like a clafoutis, one of the simplest, most comforting desserts in the home cook’s repertoire, needs a good 40 minutes at least to bake. In a restaurant this means either a too-long wait or inevitable wastage, so I only get to cook this when we are serving a set menu. Clafoutis is a baked eggy batter into which can be suspended many different fruits, from cherries (unpitted of course), to apricots, plums and brandy-soaked prunes.

Extract credit to: Sardine: Simple seasonal Provençal cooking by Alex Jackson, published by Pavilion Books. Image credit to Matt Russell.

Recipe courtesy of
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • 70g/ 2 1⁄2oz/1⁄2 cup plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • 100g/ 3 1⁄2oz/1⁄2 cup caster (superfine) sugar, plus 2 tbsp extra for sprinkling
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 280ml/ 9 1⁄2fl oz/1 cup plus 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 400g/14oz fruit (plums or apricots should be stoned, but cherries and prunes can be left with their pits inside – just warn your guests!)
  • Icing (confectioners’) sugar, to taste
  • 1 tbsp kirsch (if using cherries) or brandy (for any other stone fruit) (optional)
Method
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Method
  1. Melt 1 tbsp of the butter and set aside to cool. Whisk together the sifted flour, caster sugar, salt, eggs, melted butter and milk to make a smooth batter. Set aside while you prepare the fruit.
  2. Stone the fruit, if necessary. If you feel the fruit is too acidic, macerate in icing sugar to taste for 15 minutes. At this point you can add a splash of kirsch or brandy, if you feel so inclined.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
  4. Grease a ceramic baking dish with butter. Add the fruit to the dish, then pour over the batter. Top the batter with fine slivers of cold butter, and sprinkle with the extra caster sugar.
  5. Bake in the oven for around 35–40 minutes, or until the clafoutis has risen, the fruit has gone jammy and the top is an attractive golden brown. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly and serve warm.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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