Clafoutis is a traditional dessert that originates from the Limousin region of central France. The name comes from the regional dialect word clafir which means to fill. Traditionally clafoutis is made with fresh black or red cherries, although other fruits can be used as well, baked into a flan like filling. Clafoutis is relatively easy to make and, as the name implies, is a lovely “filling” dessert using locally grown seasonal fruits.
For the recipe that follows I wanted to use fruit grown locally here in Thailand. Although cherries are available, they are imported and worth their weight in gold. What I found instead were sweet fresh figs and to my astonishment locally grown blueberries! It is truly amazing what farmers here in Thailand are able grow using a little ingenuity and adapting conditions for growing non native produce under the scorching sun of the tropics.
I have always liked the pairing of fruits with a mild goat cheese, aka chevre, particularly with figs and have incorporated it into the filling for this recipe. If you are not a fan of goat cheese see the notes in the recipe for substitutes.
The recipe works well using a variety of firmer fruits and berries including , apples, pears, apricots, cranberries and so on. Juicy tropical fruits are not recommended as they release too much liquid and are much better eaten fresh in any case.
Clafoutis with Fresh Figs, Blueberries, and Chevre
Have ready a 10 inch round ceramic oven proof baking dish
- 10 ½ ounces/300 grams fresh ripe figs
- 5 ½ ounces/150 grams fresh blueberries
For the filling:
- 3 ounces/85 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 ½ ounces/ 43 grams fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
- 3 organic eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar for the fruit
- confectioner’s powdered sugar for dusting
Note: For those who are not fond of goat cheese’s peppery tang, simply omit the chevre and cream cheese, and instead substitute 4 ½ ounces/ ½ cup crème fraiche or full fat Greek yogurt.
Preheat the oven to 375f/190c
Remove the stems from the figs and slice in half lengthwise. Rinse the blueberries, drain and set out on a kitchen towel to dry.
Cut the cream cheese into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Likewise break up the goat cheese and place it in the bowl with the cream cheese.
In another bowl combine the eggs, sugar, and flour and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
Pour the egg, sugar, flour mixture over the cheeses and whisk until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a blender. If omitting the cheeses substitute 4 ½ ounces/ ½ cup crème fraiche or full fat Greek yogurt and whisk it directly into the eggs, sugar, and flour.
Place the milk in a sauce pan and warm over very low heat until tepid. The milk need not be heated if you are not using the cheeses.
With the blender running on low speed slowly pour the tepid milk into the filling mixture until incorporated. Then turn the speed to medium and blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. If not using the cheeses simply whisk the milk directly into the filling mixture by hand or with a mixer.
Add the vanilla and lemon juice and pulse (or whisk) several times until blended in.
Lightly butter the interior of the baking dish.
Place the buttered baking dish in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and pour a very thin layer of filling mixture into the dish. The filling layer will firm up and form a thin skin in the bottom of the baking dish.
Arrange the fig halves in the baking dish skin side up and scatter the blueberries evenly around the figs. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the fruit. Pour filling into the baking dish, leaving the tops of the figs exposed. Gently jiggle the dish to evenly distribute the filling mixture. You may not use all of the filling mixture which can be discarded.
Place the clafoutis in the oven and bake until the center is just set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Test by inserting a toothpick into the filling. If the toothpick comes out mostly clean the clafoutis is done. Do not over bake! The clafoutis will firm up as it cools.
Remove the clafoutis from the oven and set on a rack to cool to room temperature.
Preheat the broiler and raise the oven rack to the upper level.
Dust the top of the clafoutis with confectioner’s sugar.
Place in the oven under the broiler and broil until the top of is very lightly browned, turning several times in the process.
Remove from the oven promptly and set on a rack to cool. Refrigerate if you plan to serve the clafoutis later.
The clafoutis is best served at room temperature. Lightly dust the surface of the clafoutis with confectioner’s powdered sugar just before serving.