Cherries, apricots and peaches are at their seasonal best. They are sweet, juicy and luscious; there is nothing I want to eat more. The season for stone fruits is relatively short. I want to put these fruits into every dish I make: yogurt, salad, soup, grain and dessert.
There comes the idea of delivering the guilty pleasure of a dessert into something no one would think twice, let alone feeling guilty about, having it for breakfast or anytime of the day. That’s the goal.
Batter puddings where fruits are suspended in a flour and egg batter is magical. It’s one of my favorite desserts. What about the cross between a clafoutis (French dessert in a china dish) and a Dutch baby (breakfast pancake/crêpe in a pan)? Let’s call it a clafoutis hybrid.
I am adapting a Jamie Oliver’s cherry clafoutis recipe (less sugar is used) as a starting point with a few tweaks to make a healthy tasty hybrid:
- Use a cast-iron pan for its superb heat retention properties. Preheat the cast-iron pan. Bake this clafoutis hybrid until you see crusty brown edges.
- Raise the baking temperature to 400°F and bake the batter for a longer period (40-50 minutes, depending on water content of the fruits). In a prolonged high heat setting, some of the liquid will evaporate, leaving behind a more puffy (like a popover) and less custardy interior.
- Decrease the amount of milk (1 cup or 230 ml) to get a more airy and lighter texture.
- Put in more fruits, relative to the amount of flour, for a healthier pudding in the end. Sprinkle some blueberries on top for the visual effect and an extra dose of antioxidants.
- Dust as little or as much confectioners sugar as you’d like. The choice is yours.
I’d make this clafoutis throughout the summer as long as these delectable stone fruits are at their peak conditions. I’m sharing this with other home cooks at IHCC.
Stone Fruits Clafoutis-Dutch Baby in a Cast-Iron PanPrint Recipe
- ½ tablespoon unsalted butter (at room temperature), for greasing
- (450 g or 1 pound) cherries or stone fruits, cut in thin slices
- confectioners sugar, for dusting
- ½ teaspoon baking powder (not used)
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 60 g or 1/3 cup sugar
- 300 ml milk (reduced to 230 ml or 1 cup)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 60 g or 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- a pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to (400°F).
Grease a 8 to 10-inch round baking dish (or a cast iron pan) with the softened butter. Preheat the pan in the oven for at least 15 minutes.
Prepare the fruits: Remove the stems and pit the cherries. Other stone fruits like peaches and apricots should be pitted and thinly sliced; set aside.
Mix eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla extract in a blender, until the ingredients are incorporated. Pulse in the flour with a pinch of sea salt. Process until totally smooth, then set aside.
Pour the batter in the heated pan. Spread the fruits evenly in the batter. Return to the oven to bake for about (40 minutes), or until puffy and golden.
Let the clafoutis cool for 15 minutes. It will deflate.
Dust the clafoutis with icing sugar and serve warm.
Some of the changes are highlighted in (brackets). Adapted from Jamie Oliver's recipe at http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/cherry-clafoutis/