Here’s a riddle: What do a basket of berries and 3 eggs have in common? A light and simple dessert called clafoutis. Clafoutis is a baked French dessert similar to flan, consisting of fresh fruit smothered in a lightly sweetened egg batter. The result is a pudding-like concoction redolent with seasonal fruit.
Berries are everywhere now, lining the tables at the farmers market and teetering on shelves at our local store. Never one to hold back, I pile them into my basket and head home, nibbling on my purchases while thoughts of tarts, jams and fools run through my mind. Sometimes, when time is short, I know I will make a clafoutis.
Clafoutis is remarkably quick and easy to prepare with a short list of ingredients. The result is rustic yet elegant, generously showcasing the season’s fruit. Bake the clafoutis in a gratin dish or cast-iron skillet. If you would like to fiddle with presentation, divide the batter between individual ramekins. I had a little extra batter left over and filled asian soup spoons for a dessert inspired amuse-bouche.
Black and Blueberry Clafoutis
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 to 55 minutes
Makes 8 (6-ounce) or 1 (10-inch) clafoutis
Unsalted softened butter for greasing the pans
1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
6 ounces fresh blueberries
6 ounces fresh blackberries
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups half and half
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus extra for garnish
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter 8 (6-ounce) shallow ramekins (or 1 (10-inch) ceramic tart pan). Sprinkle the ramekins with the 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and tap out any excess. Place the ramekins on a baking tray. Arrange the berries in one layer in the ramekins.
2. Beat the eggs and 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.
3. Pour the mixture over fruit. Transfer the clafoutis to the oven and bake until the top is tinged golden brown and the custard is set, about 25 minutes for the ramekins (or 35 to 40 minutes for the tart pan). Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
4. Before serving, sprinkle the clafoutis with powdered sugar and garnish with additional lemon zest. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.