Art and Soul of Baking
by Sur La Table and Cindy Mushet
Clafouti is a simple fruit and custard combination based on crepe batter. The batter is poured over the fruit and baked at a high temperature to create a gorgeous brown top and crispy, caramelized edges all around. You may vary the fruit and flavorings to your heart's content. The French classic is cherries with their pits intact, lending a touch of bitter almond flavor to the dessert, but it's also delicious with sliced ripe pears, fresh figs, peaches, apricots, or blackberries.
9- or 9½-inch Ceramic Tart Pan, Baking Sheet, Medium-Mesh Strainer, Medium Bowl, Whisk, Fine-Mesh Strainer
• 1 half-pint basket (about 4½ ounces) fresh blueberries
• 4 large eggs
• 6 tablespoons (2½ ounces) granulated sugar
• Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 5 tablespoons (2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
• Pinch of salt
• 3/4 cup (6 ounces) whole milk
• 1/4 cup (2 ounces) heavy whipping cream, creme fraiche, or sour cream
• 2 tablespoons limoncello (lemon liqueur) or amaretto (almond liqueur), optional
• 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
• Softly Whipped Cream, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly butter the pan and coat it with granulated sugar.
2. Pour the berries onto the baking sheet and pick through them, removing any stems or debris. Transfer them to the strainer and rinse under cold water. Pat dry and pour into the tart pan.
3. Place the eggs and granulated sugar in the medium bowl and whisk vigorously to blend. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and blend again. Add the flour and salt and whisk until most of the flour lumps have blended into the eggs. Add the milk and cream and whisk until the mixture is completely blended.
4. Pour the batter over the blueberries and move the berries around, if necessary, so they are distributed evenly. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the clafouti is set and firm in the center, the top is browned, and the edges look crispy.
5. Sprinkle immediately with the liqueur if you like. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Use the fine-mesh strainer to sift the confectioners' sugar over the top and serve warm, with spoonfuls of whipped cream.
Storing: Clafouti is best served warm from the oven. For longer storage, refrigerate for up to three days. Reheat in a 400°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes before serving. The clafouti batter can be prepared 1 or 2 days in advance. Make the batter (through Step 3) and store in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap.