The main reason I wanted to make this baked French dessert was that I liked how it sounded – clafoutis. Doesn’t it sound very French and sophisticated and refined? Plus, as you can judge from the name, the berry clafoutis is filled with berries (and I love sweets with berries), and it is different from your usual berry desserts because it has a flan-like texture. So I was excited to give it a try!
Keep in mind that this dessert is not for everybody. Here is an example. My husband loved it because he loves everything “French” and he doesn’t like overly sweet desserts. My mother-in-law, who prefers more traditional desserts, was not very crazy about it. She thought it was too bland and asked for a scoop of a very sweet ice cream on top. So, judge for yourself and your audience. If you don’t like overly sweet desserts but love desserts with a lot of berries – go for it! This recipe has only 1/3 cup of flour, compared to 1 cup of half-and-half and 3 eggs, which results in a flan-like texture instead of a cake-like texture. As a result, these dessert bars are very light in terms of the density of the cake batter, which makes berries the star ingredient (as opposed to the cake batter). And that’s why I loved this recipe. If that’s what you’re looking for – you’ll love it too!
As I was photographing my berry clafoutis, I had a funny incident, when one of the slices fell off during the photo shoot, and, as a result, I got a funny “food action”:
A couple of key things to consider when making berry clafoutis:
1) In step 3, make sure to use electric mixer to whisk together the eggs, half-and-half and vanilla extract really well until very smooth and well-combined. If this step is not done properly and you don’t whisk eggs enough your dessert might come out too egg-smelly.
2) This kind of dessert tends to stick to the pan. So, while I like to use butter to grease the pan and cut slices right out of the pan (without taking the cake out of the pan), you might want to use non-stick spray like Pam and give a good coat to your pan, just in case.
3) Do not over-cook. Bake exactly for 30 or 35 minutes (NOT LONGER) in a well pre-heated oven and don’t open the oven during baking to avoid losing heat. If you overcook this dessert, your eggs will overcook, and it will taste rubbery. After 30 or 35 minutes of baking, the clafoutis should look puffed up, golden around edges and set in the middle (when the top is no more liquid). It should be flan-like.
4) Serve it warm. It’s good at room temp and warm with a little cream or half-and-half poured over it.
Total time: 1 hour
Adapted from Le Creuset.
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
- pinch of salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon butter (for greasing the baking pan)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (for dusting the baking pan)
- 6 ounces blackberries
- 6 ounces blueberries
- Lemon zest of half a lemon (optional)
Use 9 inch square cake pan.
1) Preheat the oven to 375 F.
2) In a medium bowl, combine together the flour, baking powder, salt and powdered sugar.
3) In a small bowl, using electric mixer, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half and vanilla extract until very smooth and well-combined. Make sure this step is done properly so that in the end your dessert does not come out smelling too much like eggs.
4) Combine dry ingredients from step 2 with wet ingredients from step 3, and stir, using electric mixer, until a smooth batter forms. The batter will be very liquid. At this point, you can mix in optional lemon zest into the batter.
5) Grease the bottom and sides of the cake pan with butter. Dust all surfaces of the pan with the granulated sugar and fill the pan with the mixed berries. This type of dessert has a tendency to stick, so instead of butter you might use non-stick spray instead.
6) Pour the batter over the berries. Bake 30 – 35 minutes or until puffed up, golden around edges and set in the middle (when the top is no more liquid), and it looks and feels flan-like. Do not open the oven until the end of the baking time, or the clafoutis may collapse. Berries will rise to the top towards the end of baking time. Do not overcook, or your dish will come out “rubbery”.
7) Turn out onto a serving plate, dust with powdered sugar and serve warm. It’s also good with a little cream, milk or half and half poured over it. This dessert is best consumed fresh, immediately after baking, or within 2 days.