The first time I heard the word, I knew I would love it. Clafoutis. Clah. Foo. Tee. It felt so good to say, like a laughing cloud floating off my tongue, I was certain it would taste even better. I was right.
Clafoutis is a classic French dessert; a custard tart of sorts but without a crust. It is traditionally made with flour, milk, sugar, and eggs, and a fruit, the most popular being black cherries. Arranged in a buttered dish, the fruit is bathed in rich batter and baked, then served lukewarm with a dusting of powdered sugar and sometimes cream. The concept is brilliantly simple and I knew that with a few adjustments, the clafoutis of my dreams could become a reality.
For my first cookbook, I took the plunge and came up with an easy, grain-free and dairy-free foolproof recipe that I can honestly say I make more than any other dessert in my repertoire. I always have the batter ingredients on hand, and I always have seasonal fruit, so when I need something sweet on short notice, this dish often makes a delicious appearance. The only teeny issue with my original version, is that it required a food processor to make toasted almond flour. When I set out to make this a couple weeks ago, we were living pretty simply at the cottage with ay kitchen equipment, and I was left scratching my head. I knew I could simplify the calfoutis even more, so I set out to make it an equipment-free recipe, and edited a couple of steps so that there wasn’t even a bowl to wash.
Instead of roasting the almonds in the oven, I purchased almond flour, then toasted it in a large skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Then, once the pan had been removed from the heat and cooled a bit, I mixed the remaining ingredients right there in the skillet! The last step was to simply pour the batter into the prepared baking dish with the fruit, and place it in the oven. So easy! The final results were just as good – if not better – than the more complicated version of the recipe.
Since blackberries and red currants were absolutely dripping from the bushes around the island, I knew that these two berries, as untraditional as they were, would be delicious in this context. The sweet batter in contrast against the sour-tart, juicy jewels worked so perfectly.
Some notes on the recipe:
The reason that I measure the fruit out by volume may seem unusual, but it’s because the physical space that the fruit takes up in the clafoutis is more important than the weight of it. The goal is to fill the bottom almost entirely with few gaps, so that every bite contains tons of juicy fruit pieces.
You are welcome to use any fruit that is available to you, with the exception of anything with a very high water content – melon, citrus, and pineapple make the tart too soggy. I love rhubarb in the spring, cherries in the early summer, stone fruits in the late summer, and figs in the autumn. You can also add spices to the batter, such as cinnamon and cardamom, and even dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, apricots, figs or dates.
Blackberry and Currant Clafoutis
1 cup / 100g almond flour
3 large organic, free-range eggs
¾ cup / 100g coconut sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup / 250ml full-fat coconut milk
¼ tsp. flaky sea salt
4 cups / 1 litre fresh blackberries and currants
coconut oil for greasing
coconut yogurt or other cool, creamy thing to serve with (optional)
- In a large skillet over medium heat, toast the almond flour, stirring often until golden. Remove pan from stove and let cool.
- While the almond flour is cooling, preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Wash the fruit and remove any stems or debris. Rub just a little coconut oil on the bottoms of a 9” / 23cm tart pan or any ovenproof dish. Scatter the fruit in the pan.
- Crack eggs into a small bowl and whisk well.
- To the skillet with the almond flour, add the eggs, coconut sugar, vanilla, coconut milk and salt and stir until smooth and fully combined.
- Pour the batter mixture over the fruits and bake for 45 minutes on the middle rack until risen slightly and golden brown. Serve warm with a dollop of coconut yogurt and more fresh fruit, if desired. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to four days.