Are you ready to learn about one of the easiest, most delicious desserts you can make? It’s called clafoutis, and it will instantly transport you to the French countryside.
It's sort of like a custard-y waffle, one where the bater is whipped up right in the blender and then poured into a buttery cast-iron skillet and combined with fruit. It gets golden and puffy as it bakes, and it's so delicious warm out of the oven.
I like to serve it with a little cheese course, as an ode to its French heritage. These are the little touches that make a meal feel special, memorable, and allow it to linger on a little longer than usual. Use your favorite goat or cow's milk cheese, or try Kunik, a triple cream cheese made by Nettle Meadow in Adirondacks. I discovered it at Whole Foods after the cheesemonger told me it's even better than La Tur. It's my new favorite, for sure.
You can make a clafoutis with any fruit, depending on the season. Cherries are the original player, if you want to try this in summer. I've even made it with fresh figs when they're in season. The best. (If the fruit is soft, you can add it directly over the batter rather than sautéing it first.)
Here, the apple flavor is intensified by a splash of Calvados (Apple brandy). If you're afraid of the flambé, you can skip this step–but give it a try! I promise, there're nothing to it and it'll make you feel like a boss in the kitchen.
How To Do It
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1/2 vanilla beam, seeds scraped
3 medium apples–peeled, cored, and chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Calvados or cognac
Wedge of goat or cown's cheese for serving, optional (we like Kunik Nettle Meadow)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a cast-iron skillet, melt butter.
Remove 2 tablespoons melted butter using a measuring spoon and add butter to blender. Allow to cool slightly. Add eggs, flour, milk, crème fraîche, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Blend until combined; allow batter to rest.
Over medium heat, add vanilla, apples, and a pinch of salt to remaining butter in skillet; cook over moderately high heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar and cook, stirring, until apples soften and begin to caramelize. Add Calvados and light a match to ignite. Toss in the pan until flames die down.
Working quickly, pour batter over apples.
Bake 20 minutes, until golden and just set. Let cool slightly before serving. Serve with cheese, if desired.
Serves 6 to 8 people.
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