Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Peach Clafoutis

When the heady fragrance of summer's bounty of ripe fruit excites your appetite, batter up this light and easy sweet or savory French pudding. Serves 6.


3 cups of ripe peaches, cherries, apricots, pears, your pleasure
3/4 cup all-purpose organic flour
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice sugar (plus extra to dust the dish)
3 whole eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon butter for the baking dish


1. Generously butter a 9-inch pie pan or fluted tart dish; sprinkle sugar to coat it, tapping out any excess.

2. Combine all ingredients except the fruit in your blender. Mix for a minute. Stop briefly to scrape the sides. (You can also whisk this together PDQ.) The consistency will be a little lighter than pancake batter.

3. Pour half the batter into the baking dish. Arrange 3 cups of sliced fruit  in the partially filled pan. When you're satisfied with your arrangement, pour the remainder of the batter over the top.

4. Bake at 350 degrees until the top puffs and turns golden brown, 45 to 60 minutes.

5. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dusting of powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream.

I have been lusting for this dish since the fragrance of ripe cherries began their sweet seduction last month. But it's been eons since I've baked and all the recipes I read for clafoutis seemed too fussy for this blast furnace called Texas summer. Until now.

Thank you Margaret Roach, A Way to Garden, for a clafoutis batter so easy that I could no longer resist the temptation. Just in time to in-season, organic Texas peaches. It seems that peaches are one fruit that just love hot and dry. A-maz-ing.

In case you're wondering, clafoutis is a traditional French dessert made with black cherries. The texture is somewhere between a tart and a bread pudding - tasty, light, not overly sweet. When other kinds of fruit are used instead of cherries, the dish is properly called a flaugnarde.

Everyone has a favorite recipe for clafoutis batter.

Margaret found this one in "The Martha Stewart Cookbook: Collected Recipes for Every Day." Martha offers other variations on her website. Mark Bittman recommends less flour, more cream or plain yogurt in cranberry clafoutis.

After baking it, I get how easy it is to riff on the original recipe with other fruit, be it fresh or dried mixed with nuts or to go savory with tomatoes, onions and eggplant.

Bon appetit!
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