Clafoutis originated in the Limousin area of France. This is the area where Limoges porcelain is made. This dessert dates from at least the mid 1800’s. The word comes from the French verb “clafir”, meaning “to fill”. You are filling up the batter with cherries in this case. Clafoutis rhymes with sugar-free and that is what this version is and gluten free as well.
. . . . . . . .a NO Sugar, NO Gluten and NO Guilt Dessert.
The classic clafoutis is basically a crust less pie with cherries. When classified as a flan by the rest of France, Limousin objected and the term was removed. The classic version had cherries with stones and they claimed the flavour was enhanced imparting an almond flavour. They believed if the cherries were pitted, the dish would be too watery. Talk about a choking hazard! We have also stopped eating wild chicken while spitting out the buckshot. Today cherry clafoutis is made with pitted cherries. Cherry pits have amygdalin, found in almond extract. To substitute the almond flavour from the cherry pits, I added ground almond in the batter.
QUICK TO MAKE: This is a simple batter of eggs, flour, milk and sugar poured over the cherries and baked in an oven causing the mixture to puff up and brown. Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 40 minutes. I have made this so often because my friends enjoy this dessert. One reason is that it is a very light dessert after dinner. When I substituted plums for cherries, it was a real coup. My friends asked me to come early to their dinner party -the following week, to make the “plum” clafoutis dessert again. It was that good! ( Baked plums are slightly sweeter than raw plums ). I prefer baked plums. This is the best dessert I can think of that is truly healthy. Later, I added cranberries to the mix. The ground almonds is the key flavour that makes this dessert a winner – see recipe.
VARIATIONS: The cherries were later substituted with other ingredients such as plums, apples, apricots pears, peaches raspberries , bananas, prunes, figs, and savory items like cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and prosciutto, bacon and cheese, cheese and potato, ham, etc. If another item instead of cherries are used, then you can no longer term the dish a clafoutis. It is correctly termed Flognardes (flan-like batter).
SINGLE SERVINGS: This recipe is very easy to make and you can cut the recipe in half to make just 2 or 3 servings. Or, you may use ramekins, or any small baking dishes for single serving baking. Otherwise, Clafoutis is classically made in a flan type pan. You may scoop or slice the dessert onto your plate. I prefer to use a ring mold. It is very easy to remove the ring and have a fool-proof presentation at the table for this light, tasty dessert.
THE EYE DOES HALF THE EATING. Presentation is not everything but it is pretty powerful. Have you ever had the experience where someone told you that something tasted good but it really didn’t? It only looked good. We’ve all been there. If it looks good – it is certain that you are anticipating a good meal. The first bite is the tell all. When you taste this one you will see what I mean. It’s fool proof. EASY TO MAKE!
RING MOLD TIPS: You absolutely need to put parchment on the bottom of the ring mold so the batter won’t run out. Place the ring mold on a metal sheet covered in aluminum foil for easy clean up of any possible run off. You coat the mold with butter and sweetener for ease of removal, presentation and decoration.
HEALTHY BENEFITS: The almonds, eggs and milk make this a healthy dessert that won’t give you that heavy feeling in your gut after a meal. It doesn’t cause all the enzymes in your digestive tract to do battle and make you feel like you have a big nap. This dessert supports our mission at Simply Splendid Food for healthy and tasty meals!