Clafoutis is a crustless pie made in France. The best way in English to describe it might be a baked cake batter flan with fruit in it.
The fruit most often used is cherries with their pits left in, but stems removed.
To make Clafoutis, a flat, shallow dish is buttered, and covered with a layer of the fruit being used. Then a batter made from eggs, flour, milk and sugar is poured over the fruit. The batter can be made thicker or thinner according to taste. Occasionally, the batter may be made richer by the addition of butter, and / or flavourings such as liqueurs.
The Clafoutis is then baked in an oven. When it's baked, the batter puffs up, and browns.
It is served warm, dusted with icing sugar.
Traditionally cherries are left unpitted, so that the pits will impart an almond flavour. Additionally, traditionalists warn that if pitted, the cherry juice will make the cake soggy.
It is tempting for the cook to say right, then, I'll go with tradition, if only because it's far less work in the kitchen. Some French people, though, say that the taste imparted is minimal, that the soggy concern is irrelevant given that it's never expressed with all the other fruits that are used at other times, and that leaving the cherries unpitted makes for more work at the table while eating it.
Clafoutis can be made with whatever fruit is in season: mirabelle plums, apples, apricots, pears, grapes, peaches, raspberries, or other fruits such as bananas, prunes or figs.
You can even make savoury Clafoutis, with cherry tomatoes, or with mozzarella cheese and prosciutto, bacon and cheese, cheese and potato, ham, etc.
Clafoutis originated in the Limousin area of France. It dates from at least the mid 1800s.
Clafoutis is pronounced "cla - foo - tee." The word comes from the French verb, "clafir", meaning "to fill."
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