We are still in heavy apple season (actually mid-way to be super matter of fact) which means apple cider, homemade apple sauce, apple pie and this delicious traditional clafoutis recipe made with APPLES!
Clafoutis is a traditional French dessert with a flan like texture hailing from the Limousin area in France. Usually it is made with cherries but can also be made with plums, apples, pears, or even blackberries. If you are eating the cherry or plum version, just be careful as the pits are traditionally left in!
This recipe is from my friend’s French husband’s family who can make it just about with their eyes closed and who rarely measure a thing. Mary is also the owner of the fabulous business, Simply French, offering catering, private chef services, and cooking lessons in and around Paris!
This version is more like a baked custard which is slightly thickened with flour, rather than cake-like. She bakes it in a beautiful ceramic dish with a crimped edge making the end result quite the show-stopper!
Recipe by Mary O’Leary at Simply French.
Prep Time 15 min / Cook Time 45-55 min / Serves 8
50 grams unsalted butter, plus extras for greasing baking dish
250 ml whole milk
1 teaspoon liquid vanilla extract
100 grams regular sugar
100 grams flour
1 pinch salt
3 medium or 4 small apples (Golden Delicious, Reinette)
1 packet of vanilla sugar, or make your own by placing a vanilla bean in a jar with regular sugar – one packet would equal about one tablespoon
1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) – then lower to 180C (350F) when you place the Clafoutis in the oven to bake.
2. Grease and flour a 30 cm (11-inch) round ceramic baking dish. Tap out the excess flour.
3. Put the milk and butter in a small sauce pan and heat just enough to melt the butter. Turn off the heat, let it cool.
4. Crack open the 4 eggs into a small bowl. Whisk the eggs with a fork to mix the yolks and whites together.
5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and pinch of salt. Next, add the eggs into the center of the dry ingredients. Using a whisk, stir the eggs and let the dry ingredients fall slowly from the sides into the eggs at their own pace into the center. This will help to prevent lumps.
6. Add the liquid vanilla and whisk together until smooth.
7. Slowly pour the milk/melted butter mixture over the egg/flour batter, whisking well to combine. Set aside.
8. Peel, core and slice the apples about 1⁄4 inch thick, into fairly thin slices.
9. Scatter the apple slices over the bottom of the dish. Pour the batter over the apples. Be sure to submerge all of the apple slices into the batter so they are well coated.
10. Place the Clafoutis in the oven and lower the temp to 180C (350F). After 20 minutes of baking time, rotate the dish to ensure even baking. Check the Clafoutis after 40 minutes to see if it is done. It may need 5 or 10 minutes more, depending on your oven. Look for it to be fully set around the outside (slightly browned edges will be especially yummy) and not liquid in the center when you check it with a knife.
11. When you take it out of the oven, sprinkle immediately with vanilla sugar.
12. Serve at room temperature. We serve it at the table, directly from the baking dish onto the dessert plates.
Variations: The traditional clafoutis is made with fresh cherries. But be fair warned when biting down on a slice, the French do not remove the cherry pits, which impart their flavor to the clafoutis. Use 500 grams of cherries, instead of apples. Place the cherries in a bowl, sprinkle with a few tablespoons of Kirsch and sugar, or just add them as is.