Cherry or Blackberry Clafoutis (Baked Pudding)

Cherries

Cherries

By Cat, Oct 2007; updated July 2015 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

It’s cherry season here in the Flathead Valley, so while looking for a low-carb/high fat dessert using cherries, this recipe caught my eye. It reminds me of a fruit kuchen without the pastry crust on the bottom, which is perfect for my Paleo eating plan. [2015 note: In 2014 I changed from a Paleo to a Ketogenic eating plan, and had to give up this dessert because of the white flour/starch in the recipe. I now use Creamy Egg Custard (Baked), Extra-Rich & Low Carb, with berries added to the custard before baking.]

Clafoutis (a French word, pronounced “claw-foo-tee) is a simple, baked fruity custard pudding from France. The baking method is unique:

  1. Pour part of the batter into the pan and bake in hot oven just until it begins to set;
  2. Add the fruit and pour remaining batter over, then finish baking.

It is best served warm, with cold thick cream poured over.

On my ketogenic eating plan (to reset my metabolism and regain insulin sensitivity), I have given up simple carbs (sugar, flour and starch), except for very special occasions. I also replace all or part of milk with full-fat cream or coconut milk; and use egg yolks, or yolks plus whole eggs, instead of all whole eggs. However, because this recipe includes a fair amount of flour/starch, I now use Creamy Egg Custard (Baked), Extra-Rich & Low Carb, with berries added to the custard before baking.

NOTE: One of the suggested sweeteners is sweet dairy whey, which is primarily lactose. Do not use if you are lactose intolerant.

Cherry Clafoutis

This recipe is adapted from The Vegetarian Epicure Book 2, by Anna Thomas (1), and French Food, about (2), and serves 6 – 8.  If you want to avoid regular flour, try tapioca flour (1 Tbsp tapioca flour = 1 Tbsp white flour); see Non-Flour Starches & Other Thickeners, and Conversions between Starches & Other Thickeners for more information on these substitutes.

I include notes for using Julia Child’s method (from Epicurious (3)).

From testing, I discovered I really prefer using sweet dairy whey as the alternative sweetener in this recipe; it also allows me to reduce/eliminate the stevia.

This recipe serves 6 – 8.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten  (or 3 yolks and 1 whole egg)
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour, or 1 cup tapioca flour/starch
  • 2 cups warm milk or milk/cream mixture (I use 1 cup milk, 1 cup cream)
  •  ¼ – ¾ cup Rapadura or white cane sugar (depending on desired sweetness) OR ⅛ –  ¼ tsp stevia extract powder plus 1 – 2 Tbsp honey, Grade-B maple syrup, or sweet dairy whey
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp Kirsch or brandy, or 2 tsp real vanilla extract
  • pinch unrefined sea salt
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp soft butter (to butter the pan)
  • 1 lb sweet dark cherries, washed, stemmed and pitted
  • Equipment:
  • small bowl
  • large shallow baking dish

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Generously butter a large shallow baking dish and pour a very thin layer of the batter across the bottom of the pan.
  2. Beat eggs lightly in small bowl; gradually stir in the flour (or substitute). When smooth, beat in warmed milk/cream, sweetener, melted butter and kirsch or brandy, along with a tiny pinch of salt. OR, use Julia Child’s method (3): add half the sugar to the batter, and reserve the other half, to be added later.
  3. Place in hot oven for 2 – 3 minutes, just long enough for the batter to begin to set. Remove from oven and set on heatproof surface.
  4. Arrange pitted cherries evenly over the batter, then pour remaining batter carefully over all. OR, if using Julia Child’s method, sprinkle the remaining half of the sugar over the cherries before pouring remaining batter over.
  5. Reduce heat to 400° F and bake about 30 – 35 minutes; it should be golden brown and slightly puffed. Check a couple times while baking to see if it is starting to puff evenly in large bubbles. Pierce bubbles with skewer or fork. Julia Child (3) bakes it longer, 45 min to 1 hour.
  6. Serve warm, sprinkling to with sieved powdered sugar. Pour cold heavy cream over when you serve.

Blackberry Clafoutis Variation

Prepare as above for Cherry Clafoutis, except use 4 cups freshly rinsed blackberries or marionberries, brandy instead of kirsch, and add 1 Tbsp orange zest to the custard. Omit the cinnamon, but a pinch of ginger would be a nice addition.

I’ve not tested with blackberries, but I have tested with blueberries (see 7/18/13 testing, below)

Testing

Testing 6/17/13: Testing a half recipe using peaches with a bit of cinnamon and ginger (local cherries are not ripe yet). Ingredients as follows: 1 egg yolk, 1 whole egg, 2 Tbsp each arrowroot and tapioca flour, ½ cup each milk and cream, 1/16 tsp stevia plus 1 Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp melted butter, 1 tsp vanilla, ¼   tsp cinnamon, ⅛ tsp ground ginger, pinch salt and 2 cups sliced frozen & thawed peaches. Poured thin layer in bottom of 5”x7” pan, baked at 350° F 2 min; not beginning to set so raised to 400° F (takes awhile to reach that) Checked every 2 min for 9 min total. Lowered to 350° F. Added peaches in 2 layers (not quite 2 cups) and poured batter over. Just filled pan to within ⅛” of top. Baked at 350° F; checked at 20 min; it is cooking around the edges but liquid inside. Continued checking ea 3 – 5 min. Total 37 min after adding fruit (46 min from beginning). Melted butter floating on top. Result: Flavor of peaches and ginger is nice. Not too sweet. The initial thin layer that is baked before adding fruit and custard, is like a soft crust. The crust nature is nice, but I’d rather the rest of the custard not have starch in it. So next time, I’ll make a thin bottom crust from almond meal and coconut flour. Also I’ll use sweet dairy whey instead of honey in the custard.

NOTE: In later testing I did use sweet dairy whey instead of honey, and it was a good change; so good in fact that I could reduce/eliminate the amount of stevia.

Testing 7/18/13: Tested half-recipe again, using blueberries. Ingredients as follows: 1 egg yolk, 1 whole egg, 2 ½ Tbsp arrowroot, ½ cup each milk and cream, 1/16 tsp stevia plus 1 tsp sweet dairy whey, 1 Tbsp melted butter, 1 tsp vanilla, ¼ tsp cinnamon, ⅛ tsp ground ginger, pinch salt and 2 cups frozen blueberries.

See Low-Carb Berry Clafoutis with almond-coconut crust, which is really more like a fruit kuchen than a clafoutis.

References:

  1. The Vegetarian Epicure Book 2, by Anna Thomas (see Beloved Cookbooks for more about this book)
  2. French Food, about recipe: frenchfood.about.com/od/desserts/r/clafouticherry.htm; list of clafoutis recipes: frenchfood.about.com/od/toprecipes/tp/clafouti.htm
  3. Epicurious, Julia Child’s Clafoutis: epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/JULIA-CHILDS-CLAFOUTIS-1270672

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