Last summer when my Nana died, I went crazy with the canning. I felt as if it was the most constructive way I could keep my sanity. And it kept me sane, it did. It also kept my cupboard completely stacked. So stacked that I have to use up a ton of stuff before the summer ends. You may remember my Earl Grey nectarine preserves. I made four jars of it, gave one away to my aunt, one to my mom and kept two. My aunt & mom ate theirs fairly soon and mine were pushed to the back of the cupboard. And forgotten about, admittedly. Until I got an idea to make clafouti. And I really, really wanted to make peach or nectarine clafouti, but I was feeling really icky & couldn’t go out and buy any fresh peaches or nectarines. So I had to use my ol’ bean & come up with an alternate clafouti plan.
If you’re unfamiliar with clafouti:
Clafoutis (French pronunciation: [klafuti]; Occitan: clafotís [klafuˈtis]), sometimes in Anglophone countries spelled clafouti, is a baked French dessert of black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm.
A traditional Limousin clafoutis contains pits of the cherries. According to baking purists, the pits release a wonderful flavor when the dish is cooked. If the cherry pits are removed prior to baking, the clafoutis will be milder in flavor.
The clafoutis comes from the Limousin region of France and while black cherries are traditional there are numerous variations using other fruits including red cherries, plums, prunes, apples, cranberries or blackberries. When other kinds of fruit are used instead of cherries, the dish is properly called a flaugnarde.
The dish’s name derives from Occitan clafotís, from the verb clafir, meaning “to fill” (implied: “the batter with cherries”). Clafoutis apparently spread throughout France during the 19th century.
Basically, it’s a batter baked with fruit in it. As it bakes, the fruit “rises” and the entire thing cooks up into a smooth, soft, puffy custard-y thing that’s kinda heavenly. Confession time- I always thought clafouti was Greek. It is not. Moving on… since the only fresh fruit I had at the time was citrus, I decided I’d throw caution to the wind & make a jam clafouti. Are you tired of the word ‘clafouti’ yet? I kinda am.
It was pretty friggin’ amazing. Technically not a clafouti, though. Flaugnarde would be the proper term, since it’s not made with cherries, and certainly not made with fresh fruit, but clafouti is much more fun to say than flaugnarde. And since I’m not even using fresh fruit, it probably isn’t even considered a flaugnarde. But who cares. I’ll call it what I want and I say it’s clafouti.
And the best part? It takes no more than 10 minutes tops to make, and then just 30 minutes in the oven. Done. That’s literally it. I swear! I’m not lying. It’s a dessert for the non-baker if I ever saw one. Or made one… whatever. No mixer required, no complicated steps, no difficult to find ingredients. And great for the summer because you can use fresh fruits, jam, or preserves. Or fresh fruit and preserves. Whatever you like. Also great for summer because it’s not labor-intensive, you won’t be sweating over a hot stove all day, and it just bakes quickly too. Great for the fourth of July.
I used this particular preserve because I had to use up some of my larder before the summer, and also because it’s such an interesting flavor. The Earl Grey tea works so well in preserves, probably because of the bergamot. I still have a jar of it left to play with before this season’s preserving starts up, so I’m thinking of maybe doing thumbprint cookies (this version with pecans looks especially delicious). But back to the clafouti: you can really use any preserves or jam you have. Sour cherry, blackberry, peach. Pretty much anything works. Same thing with fresh fruit: sliced strawberries/peaches/nectarines, cherries, any kind of berries really. Just plop ‘em in there.
EARL GREY NECTARINE JAM CLAFOUTI
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of fine salt
- 1 jar Earl Grey nectarine preserves (or any jam or preserves you want to use)
- Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 375˚ F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and flour until combined.
- Add sour cream, sugar, vanilla and salt; whisk to throughly combine. Pour mixture into around five 4-oz. ramekins (you may make 6 or even 3, depending on the size of your ramekins). Don’t fill it up to the top, fill it maybe ⅔ of the way, but leave some room. Place a round heaping tablespoon of jam in each. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake. You might have some overflow, that’s totally fine. (also they’ll puff up like souffles, then settle as they cool and they might have a hole. Just add more jam while they’re hot).
- Bake until custard is browned and/or fully set, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm, with whipped cream if desired, dusting with confectioner’s sugar before serving.
This is probably the easiest dessert I ever made. Make it, you’ll see. Have I ever lied to you? No. So go make some clafouti. I should also say here that you can double this recipe (just use 5 eggs, not 6) and use a 2.5 or 3 quart baking dish to make one large clafouti if you so desire. The possibilities never end! I’m thinking about trying a chocolate clafouti. Hm.
Before you leave, though, and go off and buy tons of mini cocottes and make clafouti… please, please, please do me a favor. Especially if you’re an animal lover like me. Go check out TOPSTITCH.org and buy a handmade fabric-covered composition book because 100% of all the proceeds will be going towards The Remi Project. It always feels good to do something for someone (or something) else, and in this case you get an awesome conversation piece of handmade goodness.