I ran into an interesting clafouti (pronounced klah-foo-tee) formula in an old magazine in a box in the garage recently and almost dismissed it because there can be no better clafouti than Fresh Apricot Ginger Peasant Cake.
As you may recall from that post, clafouti, an earthy cake from the region of Limousin in France, is comprised of a layer of cake-custard, topped with a layer of juicy fruit. The result can be rather more like cake or rather more like custard, depending on the proportions in the batter.
Sometimes it’s described as a pancake and it does often have a similarity to the high-rising German pancake called Dutch Baby (which contains butter and an equal measure of flour and milk). I have also eaten versions that are simply custards enrobing fruit, no flour in the batter at all.
Fresh Apricot Ginger Peasant Cake is on the cake side of the spectrum. It contains no eggs (which is highly unusual) or butter, and is cake-like (not a pancake, not a custard), with a decidedly chewy texture, which everyone loves.
Spiced Green Apple Lemon Clafouti, on the other hand, is on the custard side of the spectrum. It rises high around the edges, much like a Dutch Baby. However, it is thicker than a Dutch Baby and the center more closely resembles a firm, tender custard than a pancake.
Because this delectable cake-custard is so simple to make and not overly sweet, it makes an excellent addition to a breakfast or brunch menu. It’s also wonderful with afternoon tea, perhaps a fruity, floral tea, such as No. 47 Bungalow from Oregon tea purveyor, Steven Smith.
Note Julia Child describes this classic dessert beautifully, along with several variations, in the inestimable, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1. Her basic formula is similar to the custard-like formula I present here, although with a little less egg.
Spiced Green Apple Lemon Clafouti
This high rising, custard-like clafouti batter contains no fat of any kind, which makes it ideal for breakfast or a light afternoon sweet. Adding a topping of sugar before baking gives this peasant cake yet another appealing textural element.
Serving Note Clafouti is best eaten shortly after baking.
Spiced Green Apple Lemon Topping
1 medium-large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and ¼-inch diced
2 tablespoons currants
2 tablespoons sugar
finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider syrup (or molasses)
1 tablespoon dark muscovada sugar (or dark brown sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ cup sugar
powdered sugar in shaker, optional
lemon wedges, optional
- Heavily butter the bottom and sides of a 9”-9½”, 6-cup capacity, ceramic baking dish. Reserve.
- To make the topping, in a large mixing bowl, combine apples, currants, ¼ cup sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, apple cider syrup, muscovada sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Let macerate for ½ hour. You should have at least ¼ cup of juices after maceration.
- In a blender, blend the milk, eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla, and salt.
- Pour batter into the prepared baking dish, and top with drained apple mixture and ¼ cup of the apple liquid, being careful not to cover a ¾-inch band around the edges.
- Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup sugar over the top of the batter.
- Bake at 400°, on the middle rack of the oven, for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are well puffed and the center appears set.
- To serve, cut into wedges and arrange on serving plates. If desired, dust each serving with powdered sugar and serve with a lemon wedge.
Makes one 9½-inch clafouti; serves 4-5.
Note To print this recipe for your personal use, click Print this Post below.