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deep-dish clafoutis?

Robert Lauriston Jul 12, 2011 05:16 PM

Anybody have a recipe for a double-thick clafoutis? I had a piece of one (see photo) at a restaurant near Vouvray, it was basically just a huge pile of sour Montmorency cherries loosely bound with a small amount of not very sweet batter. One of the best desserts I've ever had.

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  1. t
    thimes RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 12, 2011 06:10 PM

    never had a "double thick" clafoutis. But I do LOVE a good clafoutis. Couldn't you just do a regular recipe and just bake it in a smaller dish (or double it and do it in the same dish)?

    I would think the only limiting aspect would be to have enough cherries so that they don't all slip down and keep forming a single layer. . . .

    1. i
      icookstuff RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 13, 2011 09:44 AM

      I assume you mean double dense. For thicker, you could just add more stuff -- cherries, batter -- into the same sized baking tin. For a denser clafoutis, I would expect to add more flour, have a drier batter, maybe closer to a dough.

      2 Replies
      1. re: icookstuff
        Robert Lauriston RE: icookstuff Jul 13, 2011 09:55 AM

        I mean double height, as in the picture. I'd say it had at least twice and maybe three times the fruit of a conventional single-layer clafoutis of the same diameter. The crumb (or whatever you call the cooked batter) was drier and more cake-like than a standard clafoutis.

        I can work it out through trial and error if necessary, but I have a feeling the first try would be badly undercooked in the middle or overcooked around the edges or just a gloppy mess.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          thimes RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 13, 2011 05:32 PM

          From the posts below it sounds like your in for a trial and error - and since I didn't eat it, it is hard to say exactly what the difference was.

          Seems like you could start with a traditional recipe and cook it in a water bath if you feel it is thick enough to need that kind of buffer so as not to be overcooked around the edges . . . .

      2. m
        marisold RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 13, 2011 11:35 AM

        Sorry, I don't have a recipe, but I do have a clafoutis question. Once in a little town in Provence I was served a cherry clafoutis that still had the pits in the cherries. I almost broke my teeth when I bit down! I have never seen that anywhere else, and wonder if that's a tradition there or if someone just forgot to pit the cherries! (Why I didn't just ask, I don't know. . . afraid of being an Ugly American, I think.) Has anyone else ever seen this?

        6 Replies
        1. re: marisold
          ROCKLES RE: marisold Jul 13, 2011 01:31 PM

          It seems it was traditional...check out this link


          1. re: ROCKLES
            Caitlin McGrath RE: ROCKLES Jul 13, 2011 01:33 PM

            Yes, I've always read that it's believed to result in more flavor.

          2. re: marisold
            sunshine842 RE: marisold Jul 13, 2011 01:37 PM

            it's old-school traditional to leave the pits in -- it's because leaving the pits in supposedly makes the flavor better.

            Pretty rare to find, though -- because of the dental implications. Most folks pit the cherries nowadays.

            (cherry season is tapering off here in France, so we're making our last *cherry* clafoutis for the year...it's okay, though, because the parade of plums has started -- mirabelle, reine claude, quetsches -- and they'll keep us in tasty clafoutis from now until autumn)

            1. re: sunshine842
              rabaja RE: sunshine842 Jul 14, 2011 08:59 AM

              Jealous of your plum variety! I can find Mirabelles here but it sure is a short window!

            2. re: marisold
              Robert Lauriston RE: marisold Jul 13, 2011 02:25 PM

              It's traditional, like clam-in-the-shell pizza in Italy or whole spices in India. You're supposed to know and watch out.

              If you pit sour cherries, you lose a lot of flavor (though if you wanted to be deconstructionist you could make noyau ice cream and serve it alongside). Here's a picture of the pile of pits left from the slice in the photo above.

              1. re: marisold
                Whats_For_Dinner RE: marisold Jul 13, 2011 10:04 PM

                Funny, I've always read about the pits-in thing, but every clafoutis I've ever had has been pitless. So I gave it a shot this past week: baked up a few adorable individual ones in ramekins, half with pits, half without. I can honestly say that the pitful clafoutis were richer in flavour... and it didn't hurt that the pits forced me to slow down and savour, instead of inhaling the entire thing in seconds.
                The cherries with pits left in also didn't "bleed" as much colour, making for a cleaner look, if that's the kind of thing you're into.

              2. chowser RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 13, 2011 01:47 PM

                I've seen recipes for thicker/taller clafoutis but not ones that are as cake/cobbler like as the one in your picture. But it might give you a starting point where you can add more flour, reduce eggs, etc., combine it w/ a cobbler recipe.


                I've also seen ones that use creme fraiche and yogurt but, again more like custard.

                9 Replies
                1. re: chowser
                  chowser RE: chowser Jul 13, 2011 01:53 PM

                  Smittenkitten has a recipe that looks like a mix of a clafoutis and cobbler (recipe down below in comments section):


                  1. re: chowser
                    sunshine842 RE: chowser Jul 13, 2011 02:09 PM

                    Nope, that's not a cobbler -- the recipe in the Smitten Kitchen comments is straight-up clafoutis. (cobbler has a crust of some sort -- clafoutis is a fruit-filled custard -- that brown you see is the custard itself.

                    Exactly the same recipe I have in my French cookbooks.

                    1. re: sunshine842
                      chowser RE: sunshine842 Jul 13, 2011 02:20 PM

                      It's the proportions that are different, at least for the clafoutis I've made (Julia Child's) which has less flour in proportion to the liquids.


                      The cobbler I make uses about the same ingredients, except for the eggs and has more flour.

                      1. re: chowser
                        chowser RE: chowser Jul 13, 2011 04:56 PM

                        Oh, I forgot to add that cobblers mean a lot of different things, too. I've made different kinds but the one I fall back on (and hence what I think about when I think of cobbler) has the fruit throughout. But, there have been discussions here about what a true cobbler is. Kind of like this one:


                      2. re: sunshine842
                        Robert Lauriston RE: sunshine842 Jul 13, 2011 02:32 PM

                        Clafoutis is often closer to a pancake than a custard. Depends on the proportions of flour (if any), sugar (if any), egg, and liquid, and whether it's made with milk or cream. Julia Child's version gets brown from sugar being sprinkled on top partway through. Most recipes you pour the batter over the eggs.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          sunshine842 RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 13, 2011 03:24 PM

                          none of the recipes I have (in French or in English) -- you mix the batter and pour it (gently) over the fruit in the buttered dish.

                          You're right, though -- it isn't *exactly* like a pancake OR a custard -- it's somewhere in between... the batter is far too thin to be a pancake, but has too much flour to be a real custard. (I can hear my French friend clucking in the back of my mind -- but it's not a pancake or a custard - it's clafoutis!) Mine get lovely and golden no matter what I bake them in -- and I don't ever sprinkle them with sugar.

                          I made little ones earlier this summer in silicone cupcake molds for a picnic -- worked brilliantly. I added an extra egg to make it bind a little more firmly and it was perfect -- they held together for eating out of hand, and the little ones were easy to pack into a plastic container.

                          1. re: sunshine842
                            Robert Lauriston RE: sunshine842 Jul 13, 2011 03:42 PM

                            Batters vary a lot. I'll post some variations.

                          2. re: Robert Lauriston
                            chowser RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 13, 2011 04:59 PM

                            I think of it more like a dutch baby/ German pancake with a more custardy center. Although, with the variety of recipes, both are very similar. The picture you have above didn't look like that, though it's hard to tell.

                        2. re: chowser
                          prima RE: chowser Jun 30, 2012 06:59 AM

                          Just posting the recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Cherry Clafoutis recipe's comments section, since the original link to the original Smitten Kitchen recipe is now broken.

                          3 eggs

                          1/2 c sugar

                          1/2 c butter, melted

                          1 c flour

                          1 c milk

                          1/2 tsp vanilla (or almond) extract

                          2 tbsp rum (optional — I use amaretto)

                          2 c black cherries (or other fruit)

                          Pre-heat the oven to 400 F. Beat the sugar and the eggs with a wire whisk until they turn lighter in color. Gradually add the butter, beating to incorporate. Add the flour all at once and whisk until the batter is a homogeneous mixture. Next slowly pour in the milk a little at a time. Add the vanilla, and the rum if you are using it, mixing well. The batter should be very smooth and shiny.

                          Place the fruit in a buttered glass or earthenware baking dish, cake pan (9 or 10 inches in diameter) or skillet that can go in the oven. Pour the batter over the fruit. Bake in the pre-heated oven, approximately 30-40 minutes (mine tend to cook in less than 30 min — check early), until slightly browned and almost completely set in the middle. Let sit at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a plate and serving (or serve out of the baking pan). Serve warm or at room temperature.

                      3. Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 13, 2011 03:43 PM

                        Examples of how much recipes vary:

                        Jean Bardet: 2 eggs, 1/8 cup sugar, 3/16 cup flour, 3/4 cup milk

                        Julia Child: 3 eggs, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1-1/4 cups milk

                        about.com: 3 eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, 2/3 cup flour, 1 cup milk

                        Ina Garten: 3 eggs, 1/3 cup sugar, 3/8 cup flour, 1-1/2 cups heavy cream

                        Bon Appétit: 4 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour + 1/4 cup ground almonds, 1 cup milk

                        Williams-Sonoma: 4 eggs, 2/3 cup sugar, 3/8 cup flour, 1 cup heavy cream

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          chowser RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 13, 2011 05:02 PM

                          I've also seen ones w/ creme fraiche and with yogurt. The similarity is that they're low in flour in proportion to liquids so tend to have a more custard-like base. When I look at the base of the picture you posted, it looks more like a cake, as in the cobbler types I mentioned above.

                          1. re: chowser
                            paulj RE: chowser Jul 14, 2011 09:34 AM

                            Jacques Pepin has, in one of his earlier Short cut cookbooks, a clafoutis that uses ground almonds instead of the flour (plus a bit of corn starch).

                          2. re: Robert Lauriston
                            TerriL RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 15, 2011 11:06 AM

                            Here are the proportions from the Tartine cookbook, which I think results in a slightly thicker clafoutis than Julia Child's (certainly the volume is greater):

                            2 cups milk
                            3/4 sugar
                            3 eggs
                            1/3 cup + 1T flour
                            2 cups pitted cherries

                            1. re: TerriL
                              Robert Lauriston RE: TerriL Jul 15, 2011 12:07 PM

                              I'm looking for more cherries, not more batter. The clafoutis in the photo was probably around a kilo of cherries and had only the minimum amount of batter to hold it together.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                sunshine842 RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 15, 2011 12:15 PM

                                the caution that follows is that as the proportion of cherries to batter increases, so does the probability of the thing falling apart during plating -- less glue=more mess.

                                It'll still taste good, but there's a fine line there.

                                1. re: sunshine842
                                  Robert Lauriston RE: sunshine842 Jul 15, 2011 12:22 PM

                                  Yeah, in fact you can see in the photo that it is falling apart a bit.

                          3. m
                            mscoffee1 RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 13, 2011 10:53 PM

                            OK I'll try. This is with cranberries but should work with cherries - I hope. As I remember this batter is sweet but goes with the tart berries especially if you increase fruit.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: mscoffee1
                              Robert Lauriston RE: mscoffee1 Jul 14, 2011 08:42 AM

                              The picture looks similar, but 2 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup melted butter, no liquid except the juice from the fruit? That's a lot sweeter and richer.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                paulj RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 14, 2011 09:35 AM

                                Don't forget the cranberries are quite tart.

                            2. rabaja RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 14, 2011 09:03 AM

                              I wish someone knew the answer because I'd like to bake one up right now.
                              It almost looks like a slice of Gateau Basque, especially with the sugary-crackly top.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: rabaja
                                Robert Lauriston RE: rabaja Jul 14, 2011 09:17 AM

                                The top was not sugary or crackly. It was soft and cakey.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                  rabaja RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 14, 2011 09:26 AM

                                  Yes, a GB is decidedly cakey, which is what I meant.

                              2. sunshine842 RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 15, 2011 04:11 AM

                                By the way -- forgot to add this earlier -- a spoonful of liquor -- cognac, brandy or rum is *awesome* in clafoutis, if not exactly traditional.

                                1. i
                                  Isolda RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 15, 2011 12:20 PM

                                  I can't answer the double thick question, but if you don't want the cherries to sink to the bottom, pour a little of your batter on the bottom of your pan, then bake it until it firms up a bit. Then add the cherries and the rest of the batter. I make it this way when I have company. The rest of the time, I just dump my cherries (or blueberries) and pour the batter over them.

                                  1. Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 16, 2011 01:09 PM

                                    OK, first try.

                                    2 lbs. sour cherries, washed and destemmed, pits left in
                                    1 cup milk
                                    1-1/4 cups flour
                                    1/2 cup sugar
                                    1/4 cup butter, melted
                                    pinch salt
                                    3 eggs, separated, whites whipped

                                    Put cherries in buttered 8" souffle dish, poured batter over, baked at 375 for 50 minutes.

                                    Too much batter, too custardy. Separated, layer of custard on top (bottom when served). Tasty but a little dry.

                                    Next time around, don't separate the eggs. I think a 10" dish might be a better size.

                                    1. prima RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 29, 2012 08:43 PM

                                      Making clafouti tomorrow. :-)

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