Clafoutis is truly a most delicious and easy French dessert prepared in no time at all. Sugar, flour, eggs and milk are the basic ingredients. Once baked, each bite is a mouthwatering experience. The custardy filling resembles a cross between a flan and a cake. Rustic yet elegant, creamy and delicious, Clafoutis will definitely become a must have dessert perfect for any occasion.
Traditionally Clafoutis is made when plump, ripe, dark cherries are picked from the trees, then arranged in the bottom of a dish and covered with a rich egg batter. French clafoutis purists firmly vow that leaving the pits inside the cherry not only improves flavor, but allows the fruit to stay intact, without bleeding out. Today Clafoutis is also made with stone fruits as well as a great variety of berries. This dessert is most certainly one of the easiest treats to prepare when fresh, ripe fruit is in season. We chose to make it with a blind baked tart shell and raspberries. Let's get started!
Round baking dish 30cm - 12" inches in diameter, and 2.7cm - 1.5" inch deep
Baking weights or dried beans - we have used the same beans for this purpose for a long time
260 grams Pasta Frolla for the tart shell. The nice thing about Pasta Frolla, is it can be prepared ahead of time, portioned out, wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen. When ready to use, take out of the freezer and place in the refrigerator overnight.
2 eggs and plus one egg yolk, or 3 small eggs
65 grams sugar
18 grams AP Flour or Corn Flour
140 grams milk
110 grams heavy cream
15-20 grams melted butter, then cooled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
8 grams Rum - about 2 teaspoons
Zest of 1/2 lemon or orange - optional
250-300 grams fruit - For today's recipe we used raspberries. Cherries are the traditional fruit for clafoutis, but blackberries, blueberries or stone fruits are also delicious.
Sugar (brown or white) to sprinkle on top of the Clafoutis during the last 10 minutes of baking
Powdered sugar for dusting
Mint leaves for garnish
Extra raspberries for garnish
Preheat the wood-fired oven to 450°F - 232°C. Since the oven will be cleaned and the coals and ashes removed before placing the Clafoutis inside the cooking chamber, it is perfectly ok for the initial temperature of the oven to be higher than what is needed.
Immediately before blind baking the tart shell (and only then), the oven chamber must be cleaned out. One must work quickly to get the job done in order to retain the heat inside the cooking chamber. Close the damper on the chimney from a vertical position to a horizontal position, and with the help of the ash shovel scoop up, and transfer the ashes and coals into a metal bucket next to the oven. Obviously some heat will escape while the door is open, and will naturally cool the temperature down. *Before the CLEANING of the oven is done, make sure to keep the fire burning until just before blind-baking the tart shell.
Roll the Pasta Frolla out into a 30cm - 12" inch diameter circle. Carefully place the dough into the baking dish making sure it slightly hangs over the edge of the dish. Check the video for details.
In order to blind bake the tart shell, place parchment paper over the pastry. Fill the parchment paper with the beans all the way to the top, making sure the beans gently press on all sides of the tart shell. Doing this will allow the pastry shell to keep its shape, remain intact, and without bubbles while baking.
If the oven is still a bit too hot for blind baking the tart shell, it may be necessary to cover with aluminum foil during the first 5-10 minutes of baking. Remember that the damper on the chimney must be closed. Blind bake the tart shell for a total of 15-20 minutes.
While the tart shell is baking, prepare the clafoutis filling. This will take no time at all.
Melt the butter and let it cool to room temperature.
In a bowl whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla, Rum (optional), and salt until well combined. Do not over-mix.
Incorporate the flour and butter, and mix into a homogeneous batter.
Pour the milk into the batter and stir until smooth. Only then add the heavy cream. Mix once again.
Remove the tart shell from the oven, and immediately close the oven door. Remove the beans and the parchment paper. The beans can be used over and over again for the same purpose.
Arrange the rinsed and dried raspberries into the bottom of the blind baked tart shell. Once the fruit is arranged, gently pour the batter over the raspberries. That's it!
Before placing the Clafoutis into the oven, once again check the temperature by pointing the infrared thermometer directly on the stone where the tart will be placed. The ideal oven temperature should be at 375°F - 190°C, or a little over. Carefully slide the Clafoutis into the oven, and bake for about 40 minutes.
If the top browns too quickly it might be necessary to initially, loosely cover the tart with aluminum foil.
About 10-15 minutes before pulling the Clafoutis out of the oven, sprinkle the top with some brown or granulated sugar. Place it back into the oven for the rest of the time.
The dessert is done when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once out of the oven and slightly cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar, garnish and serve. Delicious when served warm or cold. Enjoy!