I have always maintained that if the name of a recipe is too difficult to pronounce, then it must also be too fussy to bother trying to cook. This comes from being lazy in high school and taking Spanish instead of French. (All you Spanish speaking peoples, calm down. Spanish is not easier to learn/inferior. It was just all around me and I had a lot more exposure.) As a result, French food has always held an air of the mysterious for me….starting with how to pronounce the food names and recipes! Enter the Grande Dame, the always fabulous Julia Child. Inspired to cook the mysterious, I quickly discovered “the beauty of simple foods, simply prepared.” Great food really is simple! Yay! The following recipe is for an incredibly simple/easy/fast dessert which can be literally thrown together in 10 minutes flat. And since it’s mostly fruit and eggs, why not heat some up for breakfast the next day?! Bwahahhaaaaaa!
So what is a clafouti and how the heck is it pronounced?
Originally from the Limousin region, this country-French dessert is made by topping a layer of fresh fruit with batter. After baking it’s served hot, sometimes with cream. Some clafoutis have a cakelike topping while others are more like a pudding. Though cherries are traditional, any fruit such as plums, peaches or pears can be used.
Notice the flexible definition? That means however it turns out, it’s exactly perfect!
Before I get to the recipe, here are some great Julia Child quotes to put a smile on your face.
“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
“How can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?”
And my personal favorite, ““I think every woman should have a blowtorch.” YES!
Fresh Peach Clafouti
Approximately 1 1/2 lbs. fresh peaches, rinsed (Can also use plums, apricots, cherries….)
1/4 c. sweet white wine such as a Muscat (or add 1 T. sugar to a dry white wine and don’t tell anyone!)
3 large eggs
1 c. whole milk (or 3/4 skim milk/rice milk and add 1/4 c. half-and-half)
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
5 T. butter, melted
1 T. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Optional: 1/4 t. freshly ground nutmeg (No, I didn’t measure; I just scraped some over the grater until about a quarter of the nut was grated into the mix.)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a shallow 2-qt. casserole dish (roughly a 9″ x 13″ baking dish).
Cut the fruit into chunky wedges and drop into a bowl. Add the wine and gently mix. Let stand till ready to assemble (about 5 minutes.)
In a blender, combine eggs, milk/cream, sugar, melted butter, flour, vanilla, and salt (and nutmeg if using.) Give it whirl until well-blended. Now transfer the fruit to the buttered baking dish using a slotted spoon. Pour the juices and leftover wine into the blender and give the whole mixture another whirl to blend. Pour egg mixture over the fruit.
Bake in the upper third of the preheated oven till puffed and set to the touch in the center, roughly 55 to 60 minutes. Serve warm. The clafouti will settle slightly as it cools. You can sprinkle the top with powdered sugar, serve with vanilla ice cream, or eat it simply as it is. Yum!