Blackberry Clafoutis: Another Culinary Distraction

Well, yes, all those tempting blackberries were calling me back. At the close of my last blog, armed with gloves and a wire basket, I had, in fact, returned to one of those dangerously attractive berry patches. My mission: harvest a supply larger than I could carry in one hand. In spite of painfully prickly vines, pesky bees, and snoozing garter snakes, the tantalizing taste of sweet, tangy blackberries lured me on.  
No pain, no gain.

Back safely in my kitchen, it’s hard to believe I could consider heating up the oven in the middle of a late August afternoon. But since temperatures still lingered in the low 70’s, I instantly knew some of the luscious berries would find their way into one of my favorite desserts: clafoutis.

Typically, I enjoy a light, puffy, crepe-like style with fruit suspended in a firmly set custard center. The batter is whipped up in the blender; it rests briefly, then poured over the fruit, and baked in a hot oven. Here, I opt to quickly whisk the liquids into the dry ingredients ― which creates a thinner, less integrated batter. This is poured over the fruit layer and baked in a more moderate oven. The slight shift in approach results in a greater contrast between the layers.

Since clafoutis can be served warm, room temperature, or cold, my choice is clear. I can hardly wait for it to cool long enough to set. Still almost hot, it cuts like a dream – thanks to the firmly baked bottom.

One bite and I am in serious trouble.
Sweet, tangy berries enveloped in ethereal lemon scented custard.
Gently surrounded by a soft crepe wrapper of perfection.
Beyond bliss ―closer to ecstasy!

Perhaps one more piece, a small wedge
In the name of ‘culinary inquiry’:

Does clafoutis improve as it cools?

Huh, hard to tell, it’s so darn good!

All this protein, surely another piece will suffice for dinner

Bet you can’t eat just one piece, either.

Blackberry Clafoutis

Source:  inspired by
·         2 cups blackberries
·         1/2 cup whole wheat flour
·         1/3 cup + 1 tbsp sugar, divided
·         1/2 tsp baking powder
·         1/2 tsp salt
·         pinch nutmeg
·         1 cup milk (low fat is fine)
·         3 eggs
·         ½ tsp vanilla extract
·         1 tsp grated lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350 degrees convection, or 375 degrees standard oven.  Butter a 9” pie plate and place berries in bottom of dish in one close layer.
In a mixing bowl whisk flour, 1/3 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.  Separately, combine the eggs, milk, vanilla and zest and add to the dry ingredients. Whisk to blend well.
Pour the batter over the berries and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the clafouti begins to set.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 Tbsp sugar over the top.  Return to the oven and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the center sets and a knife comes out clean when tested. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.
Serves 8 ~~

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