Clafouti, Compromised!

Well, not really a big compromise and I guess that’s the point. In all my talk of eating healthy in between the holidays, we still need a little dessert now and then. I love clafouti, with its amazing texture between a cake and a custard, that little touch of booze for flavor and richness, and the fruit—fresh apples, cherries or pears. It’s not hard to make, isn’t overly sweet and it ticks off a lot of boxes in the happy dessert category for me.

I’ve tried many recipes from a very lean version that was, well, more like a heavy custard and not of the most pleasant texture, to some very cake-like recipes, to Ina Garten’s luxurious and rather caloric one topped with crème fraiche. In the end, I’ve decided a little bit of compromise works well for me in the clafouti arena and I’ve adapted from several recipes, including Ina’s, to come up with this one which you just can’t feel too bad about eating! We enjoy this little dessert a lot and I hope you will, too.

Apple Clafouti (Adapted from Ina Garten)
Serves 6-8 

1 Tablespoon + 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
1/2 scant teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup reduced fat milk (1% or 2%, not fat free)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of finely grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 oz. of cognac or brandy
2 small to medium sized fresh apples, cored, peeled and cut into slices
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting, about 1/8 cup

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 10″ inch round baking dish (or equivalent) and sprinkle the 1 Tablespoon of sugar over the bottom and sides.

Beat the eggs and the 1/3 cup of granulated sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the flour, cinnamon, cream, milk, vanilla extract, orange zest, salt and cognac or brandy. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile arrange the apple slices in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish, fanning them out slightly. Pour the batter evenly over the apple slices and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is firm, about 35 minutes. It will puff up, but will deflate when removed from the oven. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then sprinkle the top with confectioner’s sugar. Cut into 6-8 slices. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Did someone say "Catfoodie"???

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26 thoughts on “Clafouti, Compromised!

  1. This is the most beautiful clafouti I have ever seen and the only one that has ever tempted me to make it. We have apples that we need to use soon. Could be that I’ll try it as soon as tomorrow when I am slated for some other baking. Thank you.

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  2. I’ve never made clafouti, but it sure does look beautiful. I wonder if it would compromise the flavour or texture if you substituted half and half instead of the cream?

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    • Okay, confession time. I had to make it with half and half and 1% milk last night because I didn’t know all my cream was gone, so this one is proof that it works! I used 1 cup half and half and 1/2 cup 1% to “even it out” so to speak. I could tell no difference in the texture or flavor from the recipe above.

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      • I just made it, Betsy, with 1/2 cup of half and half and 1 cup of one percent. My Mom liked it — and she’s a tough critic. Would it be better with a richer custard? Maybe. Would it be better for us? No. Sounds like I could have reversed the proportions of milk and half and half and gotten an even better result. My confession? I used dark rum because we don’t have any brandy or cognac and candied citrus peel because we only have lemons and limes on the trees and nothing in the fruit bowl.

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        • Hey Sharyn! So glad your mom liked it. It’s really pretty versatile and as you said, the real difference is the richness. I believe Ina used all cream in hers and one WW recipe I tried was all one percent milk..which was kind of gelatinous and unpleasant…cream or half and half works much better. One day I may try some Grand Marnier in it and cut back the sugar a tiny bit. Ina uses pears and Poire William in hers and lemon instead of orange…it kinda begs for personal adaptation.

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  3. Thank you for your compromised recipe because that is what we all need. We want great taste but at this time of the year we are hoping not to indulge too much because we know what we have ahead of us for the rest of the year. This is a great sounding recipe!

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    • Thanks for such a nice compliment, Karen, and your welcome for the recipe. I know…it’s a hard balance to strike this time of year between the goodies, the parties, the festive toasts, baking, working, and still trying not to gain weight…or not much…at least for me!

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    • Peaches….now that sounds like it would be really good! The thought of it makes me want to put some almond flavoring in there somehow, maybe a tiny bit of extract or sub amaretto for the liquor and cut back sugar a bit? Thanks so much for visiting cityhippyfarmgirl!

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      • You know what the best thing about blogging is? Getting superduper ideas!
        In the oven as I type is a peach and almond clafouti with a dash or two of amaretto. (I needed just the tiniest of pushes to buy myself some of that deliciousness in a bottle.)
        Fingers crossed it works!

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  4. Pingback: Peach and Almond Clafoutis « Cityhippyfarmgirl

  5. Pingback: A Very Short Little Peach Cake | bits and breadcrumbs

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