Catherine M. Allchin
Freelance writer based in Seattle. Food, Travel, Science
Clafoutis Is a Classic, Rustic French Dessert That’s Easy to Make
The Seattle Times - WHEN I FIRST read Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” decades ago as a teenager, I was thrilled to discover a simple dessert called a clafoutis — essentially a fruit custard-like pancake — among the lengthy descriptions of more arduous steps and techniques. This rustic French dessert couldn’t be easier. It still is one of my go-to recipes when I want something dreamy and fruity without any fuss, and it works well in any season.
My favorite clafoutis in fall showcases ripe pears. It takes just a few minutes to prepare the pears and blend the ingredients. Unlike other baked fruit desserts, there’s no need to roll out a crust or make a pastry topping. Adding a tablespoon or two of pear brandy or eau de vie lends an elegant
je ne sais quoi
to the otherwise rustic dessert.
Referring to the dessert as a flan, Child published variations with cherries, apples, pears, plums and berries. I also love a clafoutis with halved apricots. You really can’t go wrong with any fruit baked in this sweet and creamy batter.
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