Clafoutis is everything I love about relaxed French cooking. It's simple, pared down, forgiving, and somehow manages to be comforting and rustic yet chic and sophisticated simultaneously. Whether you present it as dessert at a posh gathering, or throw it together for a quick family dessert or weekend breakfast, the sight of it brings a smile to everyone's face.
What exactly is clafoutis? Pronounced cla-foo-tee, it's essentially a kind of fruit flan, made with a sweet batter that's oven baked in a dish or tin with the addition of fruit generously scattered over the top.
Traditionally, clafoutis is made with fresh stone fruit - cherry is the most common. I wanted to make this recipe as adaptable as possible to whatever you happen to have in your pantry, so I've made it with some of our beautiful dried fruit.
We are a family divided when it comes to favourite flavours at our place, so I did a half and half affair. Clafoutis is a breeze to do this with, as the batter is poured into the baking dish, then the fruit scattered over afterwards. For this one I made one side with chopped dried peaches, and the other side is chopped dried banana, dessicated coconut and chocolate chips. As long as you stick to the total amount of dried fruit in my recipe, it doesn't matter what mix of fruit or additions you use.
I also did a successful experiment with this recipe. Clafoutis batter calls for pouring cream - when I realised I didn't have any cream, I substituted greek yoghurt and it was so delicious that I'll always use yoghurt in my clafoutis from now on!
1 cup dried fruit - larger fruits like figs and peaches cut into quarters, smaller fruits like cherries and raisins left whole
Butter, for greasing
⅓ cup caster sugar, plus a little more for the pan
3 large eggs, at room temperature
½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
2 tbsp honey, golden syrup or rice syrup
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
½ cup milk
½ cup greek yoghurt or pouring cream
Icing sugar to garnish
Whipped cream or Greek yoghurt to serve
Preheat oven to 190°c (170°c fan forced)
Place the dried fruit in a bowl and just cover it with boiling water. Leave for 10 mins to soak.
Butter the base and sides of a baking dish, pie dish or tin - around 20cm across is a good size but it's not crucial. Sprinkle a little sugar over the bottom of the dish.
In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, vanilla and honey until smooth. Add flour, baking powder and salt, whisk until just combined. Last, whisk in the milk and yoghurt/cream. Pour the mixture into your prepared dish or tin.
Strain your dried fruit and scatter it over the top of the mixture. (The soaking liquid can be discarded).
Bake in the oven for 30 mins. It's done when the top is golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Dust with icing sugar. Serve warm with whipped cream or yoghurt.