Our summer, fruity tribute continues… This time it has a French flavor! In our new article we will make summer clafoutis with apricots and cherries and we will learn its history. Get whatever summer fruits you like, cherries for the classic version or apricots like us or even figs, and let’s create!
Clafoutis is described in various ways, as a juicy baked pancake with fruit, elsewhere as a thick crepe and elsewhere as a kind of flan. No matter how we describe it, the point is to prepare it and enjoy it… But first, as we always like to do, we will learn a few things about its history.
We found two versions of the etymology of the name clafoutis. The first claims that clafoutis comes from the French word “clafir” which means fill, referring to the batter that fills the gaps between the cherries. The second version says that clafoutis comes from the French phrase “fixer avec un clou” which means fix with a nail, and refers to cherries as nails pinned into the batter.
Clafoutis first appeared in central France, specifically in the Limousin region, in the 19th century. The gastronomist and taste critic of the 19th century Curnonsky describes the following: “The real clafoutis requires first of all delicious little black cherries, which are found only in the Limousin area. In order to achieve the perfection of clafoutis, one must have blood from Limousin flowing in his arteries, beautiful, dark blood like the blood of cherries. “
The authentic clafoutis is made with butter -of course-, milk, cream -there are also recipes only with milk-, sugar, flour, eggs and cherries. It is sometimes flavored with vanilla or almond extract and other times with a liqueur, preferably Kirsch.
Cherries can be replaced with other fresh fruits, although the original recipe includes strictly cherries. We read, in fact, that for some it is considered heretical to replace the cherries with another fruit, since during baking they release their juices, adding a characteristic taste to the dessert… The cherries give clafoutis “an incomparable aroma”. There are still some who argue that the kernel should not be removed from the cherries in order to preserve their juices, flavor and nutrients!
Cherries are considered one of the favorite fruits of the French, since their triumphant entry into their recipes in the Middle Ages. King Louis XV of France, also called the “Beloved”, loved cherries and encouraged their cultivation, as well as the creation of new varieties. Napoleon, on his part, was such a big fan of cherries that a variety with his name exists.
During the Middle Ages in France cherries invaded restaurant menus, raw or cooked in wine, and served as a dessert. We also found cherries in the description of a medieval meal in 1425, which said that the Archbishop of Rouen was firstly served two covered dishes, one with cherries and the other with beef.
The cherries are very nice of course, but we from our side will experiment a bit! If you want to strictly follow the formulas, however, instead of apricots use only cherries and you will have an authentic French clafoutis…
Clafoutis with apricots and cherries
Ingredients for the clafoutis
|All purpose flour||1 cup|
|Butter (melted)||40 gr|
|Brown sugar (for the pan)||1 tbs|
How to make the clafoutis
Step 1: Cut your fruit in half and remove the stones.
Step 2: In a bowl, mix the milk with the eggs with a hand whisk.
Step 3: Add the sugar and stir.
Step 4: Meanwhile, grease your pan with a little of the melted butter and sprinkle with a tablespoon of brown sugar.
Gently beat the pan so that the brown sugar goes everywhere.
Step 5: Add the melted butter to your liquids.
Mix all your liquid ingredients well with the hand whisk.
Step 6: Add the flour and vanilla to your mixture.
Mix well with the hand whisk until you have a homogenised, fluid batter.
Step 7: Line your pan with the apricots, with their inside facing up.
Step 8: Pour your batter into the pan with the apricots.
Step 9: Add your cherries.
Step 10: Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C for 45-50 minutes, depending on the oven, until it gets a nice color on the surface.
Wait for a while for the temperature to drop and serve hot or cold. It also goes perfectly with ice cream!
Happy French, fruity delight to everyone!