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Includes “How to Tell When Your Dessert is Done”

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What is a clafoutis? Think pumpkin pie without the pumpkin. And without the crust. But with fresh fruit.

Both are technically custards and they bake the same. Clafoutis are deceptively easy to make. It’s basically a pour and bake affair.

Developing Our Recipes

To develop today’s recipes, we baked a number of recipes that we found online. Some had more flour but we felt that more flour created a pasty, unappealing mouth-feel. Some weren’t sweet enough and we added more sugar.

You can see what looks like a crust on the perimeter. The batter rises to create that.

The recipes here were sized for the white 9 ½-inch porcelain pans you see in the images with a capacity of about four cups. You can size the recipes up and down for other sized-pans.

We tried making these in ramekins but they were not very attractive. The edges rose enough and the batter sunk enough to have an unattractive concave appearance.

Steps in Making Clafoutis

Clafoutis are super easy to make, easier than pies since you don’t need to make crusts.  Just load a pan with the filling and bake.   Follow these easy steps.

  1. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until frothy. Add any extracts, flour, and salt. Fold in the cream.  Some recipes call for sour cream.  Add that here.
  2. Spray your baking pan with oil.  Usually a tart or quiche pan is used but other pans can be substituted.  Pour 1/3 of the batter in the pan.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for four or five minutes or just until the batter is set.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and spread the berries or cherries evenly over the bottom. Pour the remaining batter over the fruit. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes depending on the recipe and the pan or until the clafoutis is baked.  The surest way to tell if your dessert is done is to use a kitchen thermometer—the internal temperature should reach 160 degrees.  The tip of a knife inserted in the custard will come out clean when it’s done.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack.  Cool completely in the refrigerator.   Before serving, dust with powdered sugar.  Serve slices with whipped cream if desired.

Baker’s Notes: How Do You Tell When Your Dessert is Done?

Custards, including pumpkin pies and cheesecakes, have to bake until the proteins in the eggs are set up. That’s 160 to 165 degrees. At that point, they are set but smooth. If they are baked too much, the eggs become tough.

There are three ways to tell if your dessert is baked.

  1. The most accurate way is with a probe-type kitchen thermometer. Then you know for sure. Test it about one-inch from the center. It will leave a tiny hole in your dessert.

If you would like to learn more about baking custards, get our free five-part series, “The Perfect Cheesecake” along with a coupon for a free kitchen or oven thermometer.

Choose a free kitchen or oven thermometer worth $10.99 when you get “The Perfect Cheesecake.” (Which is also free. Both are free along with recipes and articles for baking perfect cheesecakes.)

  1. You can stick a knife in the custard about one-inch from the center. If it comes out clean or nearly so, it’s done. (The tendency is to over-bake the dessert, “make sure that it’s done.”) It leaves a one-inch cut in the dessert.
  2. You can jiggle the dessert. If it’s cooked, most of the jiggle will be gone. There are no holes.

It takes practice to know how to jiggle. Use a thermometer and jiggle and you’ll eventually get to the point where you won’t need to use the thermometer anymore.

The Recipes

Classic Cherry Clafoutis

This is the classic clafoutis.  This recipe can be used for other fruits though cherries are the classic fruit for clafoutis.  If you are using a less sweet fruit than cherries, increase the sugar to 3/4 cup.

This recipe can be baked in a tart or quiche pan, a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan, or other pan with a four-cup capacity.  Baking times will vary with differing pans.

clafoutis-2

Ingredients

3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract                                                                       
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup cream
12 ounces pitted frozen sweet cherries
1 tablespoon powdered sugar for dusting

whipped cream (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°.

  1. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until frothy. Add the vanilla, almond extract, flour and salt. Fold in the sour cream and cream.
  2. Spray the pan with oil.  Pour one-third of the batter into the pan.  Bake in the oven for four minutes or just until the batter is set.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and spread the cherries evenly over the partially baked custard. Pour the remaining the batter over the cherries. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking for 20 to 24 minutes or until the custard is done.  (It will be baked when the custard reaches 160 degrees.)  The tip of a knife inserted in the custard will come out clean when baked.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack.  Cool completely in the refrigerator.
  5. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar.  Serve slices with whipped cream if desired.

Blueberry or Other Clafoutis Recipes

This is our standard clafoutis recipe. The recipe can be used for other fruits as well as blueberries.  If you use apples, slice and sauté them lightly so they are more tender.  Of course, a touch of cinnamon always goes well with apples.

This recipe can be baked in a tart or quiche pan, a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan, or other pan with a four-cup capacity.  Baking times will vary with differing pans.

Ingredients

4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup cream
8 ounces frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon powdered sugar for dusting

whipped cream (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°.

  1. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until frothy. Add the vanilla, flour, and salt. Fold in the cream.
  2. Spray the pan with oil.  Pour 1/3 of the batter into the pan.  Bake in the oven for four minutes or just until the batter is set.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and spread the fruit evenly over the partially baked custard. Pour the remaining batter over the fruit. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking for 25 to 30 minutes or until the custard is done.  (It will be baked when the custard reaches 160 degrees.)  The tip of a knife inserted in the custard will come out clean when baked.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack.  Cool completely in the refrigerator.
  5. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar.  Serve slices with whipped cream if desired.

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About the Author

Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking   available as an E-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon.

Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and five beautiful granddaughters.