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Got berries? Make a clafoutis

LyndaBalslev
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Lynda Balslev

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Lynda Balslev

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

If you’re like me, it’s impossible to resist the baskets of fresh summer berries at the farmers market. If you have more restraint than me, and you haven’t gobbled up your berries yet, here’s a great way to add them to a dessert. Clafoutis (clah-FOO-tee) is a French flanlike dessert. It’s light, elegant and studded with fruit baked in lightly sweetened egg batter. It’s also a perfect recipe for lazy cooks because it can be whipped up with little effort in less than an hour with a simple list of ingredients.

So when berries are in season (like now!) I load up on blueberries, blackberries and raspberries at my farmers market and head home with my stash. Naturally, a good amount is devoured on the spot and during the car ride home, but I always make sure there is enough left over to make a clafoutis.

You can get creative with how you present the dish. It can be baked in a tart or shallow gratin dish, as well as individual ramekins or mini cast-iron skillets, which are a fun way to serve dessert for a dinner party. If you are feeling extra festive, you can even prepare little tastes in Asian soup spoons for a dessert-inspired party bite.

The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the vessel you use, so simply bake the clafoutis until the top is tinged golden and the custard is set. This can take up to 45 minutes for a tart, 25 minutes for ramekins or about 12 minutes for little (ovenproof) serving spoons. And feel free to mix and match your berries. This recipe uses a combination of blueberries and blackberries. Raspberries and cherries are also delicious.

 

Black and Blueberry Clafoutis

Active time: 15 minutes

Total time: 40 to 55 minutes

Yield: Makes 6 (6-ounce) or 1 (10-inch) clafoutis

Unsalted softened butter for greasing the pans

1 tablespoon plus ⅓ cup sugar

6 ounces fresh blueberries

6 ounces fresh blackberries

3 large eggs, room temperature

1¼ cups half-and-half

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus extra for garnish

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon almond extract

⅛ teaspoon salt

Powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 6 (6-ounce) shallow ramekins or 1 (10-inch) ceramic tart pan. Sprinkle the ramekins with 1 tablespoon sugar and tap out any excess. Place the ramekins on a baking tray. Arrange the berries in one layer in the ramekins.

Beat the eggs and ⅓ cup sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the half-and-half, flour, lemon zest, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt until just combined.

Pour the mixture over the fruit. Transfer the clafoutis to the oven and bake until the top is tinged golden-brown and the custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes for the ramekins (or 40 to 45 minutes for the tart pan). Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

Before serving, sprinkle the clafoutis with powdered sugar and garnish with additional lemon zest. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

 

Lynda Balslev is the co-author of “Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture” (Gibbs Smith, 2014). Contact her at tastefood@tastefoodblog.com. Visit the TasteFood blog at tastefoodblog.com.

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