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Clafoutis: Easy Elegant French Dessert

I have a jar of Bing cherries beckoning to me from my pantry. They are perfect for a dessert called Clafoutis, which is really just fruit baked in a custard sauce. So, that’s what my husband and I will have for dessert tonight since the oven will be hot following our oven-baked meal.

Bing Cherry Clafoutis: Photo by Tom Hirschfeld

Bing Cherry Clafoutis: Photo by Tom Hirschfeld

Of all the desserts in my cookbooks, Clafoutis (pronounced Clah-fute-ee, the “s” is silent) is the recipe I most often recommend to gluten-free newbies.  It’s easy, fool-proof, and very versatile and just sounds so “chic” with its French sound.

With Clafoutis, you can use any flour you like, which allows many people with diverse appetites to enjoy it. So, for example, a person who is new to the gluten-free diet can make a dessert that pleases everyone— including someone who follows a Paleo diet or is dairy-free or avoids grains.

Clafoutis is not only a delicious dessert, but it doesn’t require a blend of flours, just one single flour. As you know, I am always experimenting with new flours. And, I usually turn to Clafoutis as the recipe that allows me to experiment, but always with a successful outcome.  Over the years, I experimented with brown rice flour, sorghum flour, cornstarch, amaranth flour, quinoa flour….and then some really unusual ones such as plaintain flour, coffee flour, banana flour, tigernut flour, and so on.

As you might expect, the flavor and color differs with the flour you use. But that’s part of the fun, I think. However, if you’re not into experimenting then just use one of your tried and true flours such as brown rice flour.

One last thing: I usually assemble the Clafoutis ahead of dinner, and then bake them while we eat dinner. The aroma wafting from the kitchen is so enticing, comforting, and welcoming. It’s one of my favorite tricks when we entertain guests. Somehow, the aroma heightens the anticipation of dessert.

Clafoutis

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Adapted with permission from Gluten-Free Cooking for Two by Carol Fenster (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017).

Clafoutis is a French dessert that can use any type of flour, thus making it ideal for gluten-free diets. It is simple, delicious, always turns out right no matter how it looks, and lends itself to many variations. Bing cherries are featured here, but I have used figs, apricots, peaches, pears, and nectarines. It can be served hot or cold, but I prefer it hot—with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. I like to bake it while we eat dinner, so we can enjoy its enticing aroma during dinner and so it’s nice and hot when I serve it.

1/2         cup Bing cherries, drained

1              large egg, room temperature

2              tablespoons milk of choice (the richer the better), room temperature

1             tablespoon canola oil

1              teaspoon pure vanilla extract or almond extract

2 1/2      tablespoons sugar, plus 2 teaspoons for sprinkling

2              tablespoons of your favorite flour

1/16       teaspoon salt

2              teaspoons sliced almonds, for garnish

1              tablespoon powdered sugar, for dusting

[1] Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Generously grease two 3 ½ x1 ¾ -inch (4-ounce) ramekins.

[2] Arrange cherries in a single layer in each ramekin.

[3] In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, oil, and vanilla until very smooth.  Then gradually whisk in 2 ½ tablespoons of the sugar, flour, and salt until very smooth. Divide the batter between the ramekins, sprinkle with almonds, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar.

[4] Bake until the tops are puffy and the almonds are golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings:

Per serving:   270 calories; 5g protein; 11g total fat; 2g fiber; 39g carbohydrates; 94mg cholesterol; 146mg sodium

 

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