This recent cold snap at the onset of winter has got me in a mood to bake. And it just seems so right for clafoutis. even though it’s more of a spring dessert. And obviously strawberries in Australia are more of a summer fruit. But it seems like my body just cries for this French baked custard dessert in the colder months and not forgetting that the smell of baked strawberries is simply divine.
Now before the most ardent of linguists speak, I’m well aware that traditionally a clafoutis that uses fruits other than cherries should really be called a flognarde or flaugnarde. But clafoutis just rolls off my tongue so elegantly while flognarde (I defy you to say that without smiling) just sounds like a gargle from the back of my throat.
Whether it’s called a clafoutis or flognarde, try it with prunes, apples, blackberries, blueberries or, of course, cherries. Bear in mind that strawberries emit a bit of water so make sure you drain and dry them as much as you can. Either way, it’s the perfect cold weather antidote. Devilishly simple and oh so good, be sure to serve it warm right from the dish.
300gm strawberries – washed, hulled and halved or quartered (depending on the size)
80g plain flour
80g butter, melted and cooled
60g granulated sugar (and extra to dust over the clafoutis)
150ml cold milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbl rum or strawberry liqueur (optional)
Preheat oven to 200°C and grease generously a 20cm baking dish.
Very lightly beat the eggs in a bowl and add the flour. Whisk in the melted butter and mix in the sugar and milk gradually. Add the extract and liqueur if using and mix.
Spread the strawberries in a layer in the baking dish and pour the batter over it.
Bake for 10 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 25 minutes or so. To check if it’s ready, gently stick in the tip of a knife. It’s ready when it comes out cleanly and smoothly.
Dust clafoutis with granulated sugar, rest for a few minutes then serve warm.
Recipe adapted from Michel Roux.