Indulge in the charm of French culinary history with our Classic French Clafoutis recipe, beautifully showcasing the delightful versatility of this cherished dessert. Enjoy the sweet symphony of blueberries enveloped in a velvety, flan-like batter, enriched with the exquisite essence of Madagascar vanilla. Clafoutis traces its roots back to the Limousin region of France, where it originated centuries ago. The traditional recipe primarily featured dark, juicy black cherries, creating a delightful contrast against the custard-like batter. The name "clafoutis" is believed to have originated from the Occitan dialect, spoken in the Limousin region, and it loosely translates to "to fill up" or "to stuff." This term aptly describes the process of arranging the fruit in a buttered dish before pouring the batter over it.
Over time, the popularity of clafoutis spread throughout France, leading to various regional adaptations using locally abundant fruits. When made with fruits other than black cherries, such as blueberries, it is often referred to as "flaugnarde" in certain regions. However, in the United States, "clafoutis" is now commonly used as a general term for this delightful French dessert, regardless of the fruit used.
Butter or mild olive oil for the pan
1 and 1/4 cups whole or 2 percent milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar, or Vanilla Bean Sugar, divided
1 tablespoon Madagascar "Bourbon Islands" Vanilla Extract or Madagascar Vanilla Paste
1/8 teaspoon Kosher Flake Sea Salt
1 cup flour
2 heaping cups blueberries (or blackberries) rinsed and well drained
Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat your oven to 350° F to ensure it reaches the ideal temperature for baking this delicate dessert.
Lightly grease a medium-sized cast iron pan or flameproof baking dish, ensuring it's at least 1 1/2 inches deep. This type of dish ensures even baking and enhances the overall presentation of the clafoutis.
In a blender, combine the milk, 1/3 cup of granulated sugar, eggs, Madagascar Vanilla Extract or Paste, and a pinch of Kosher Flake Sea Salt. Blend the ingredients on the highest speed until the mixture becomes smooth and frothy, which usually takes around 1 minute.
Pour a 1/4-inch layer of the batter into the prepared baking dish. For a traditional touch, place the dish on a low heat stovetop burner for a minute or two until a thin film of batter sets at the bottom.
Now, arrange the plump and juicy blueberries (or blackberries) over the batter in an even layer. The burst of color from the berries will not only enhance the dessert's visual appeal but also offer a burst of natural sweetness.
Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup of granulated sugar over the berries, providing the perfect balance of sweetness to complement the tartness of the fruit.
Carefully pour the rest of the batter over the berries, using the back of a spoon to smooth it out evenly. The batter will envelop the berries, creating a custard-like texture as it bakes.
Place the clafoutis in the center of the preheated oven and bake for approximately 50 minutes. The top should turn golden-brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean, indicating that the clafoutis is perfectly baked.
Just before serving, sprinkle the clafoutis with powdered sugar. This final touch adds a delicate sweetness and a touch of elegance, making it visually appealing and enticing to taste.
Remember that clafoutis is best enjoyed warm, allowing you to savor the creamy texture and the mingling flavors of the fruit and vanilla-infused batter. As it cools, it may slightly sink, but its delectable taste remains undiminished.
(Adapted from Julia Child's classic recipe)