Americans have embraced plenty of four-star French desserts, including crepes, crème brulée and cream puffs. But the less glamorous clafouti remains something of a novelty.
That’s too bad: It’s so down-to-earth, easy to make and fun to say.
Clafouti (pronounced klah-foo-TEE) is a country-style dessert featuring fresh fruit baked in a sweet, puffy batter. Originally made in the Limousin region of France, some versions are cakelike while others, like The Star’s Patriotic Clafouti, are more like pudding.
Blueberries and cherries are a powerful duo. Both contain plant pigments known as anthocyanins that may reduce cholesterol and prevent heart disease.
Although the nutrition benefits of blueberries tend to get the most press, the clafouti is traditionally studded with cherries, another superfruit that ranks quite high in healthful antioxidants.
Cherries are also a summer fruit, so you should be able to find a variety of sweet or sour cherries at farmers markets and supermarkets. Either will work in this recipe.
Unlike many classic recipes, The Star’s recipe substitutes low-fat dairy products to reduce the overall fat content. Not very French, you say? Mon chéri, we guarantee you will not be able to tell the difference when you taste this satisfying and rich dessert.
Shopping tip: Look for shiny, firm cherries with the stems still on. Store, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Cooking tip: The traditional clafouti keeps the cherry pits in for added flavor, but we don’t recommend choking on one, especially since inexpensive cherry pitters are readily available at supermarkets and specialty stores. If you don’t have one on hand, use a rigid plastic drinking straw to pop the pit out from the bottom of the stem end.
Makes 8 servings
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and stemmed
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup 1 percent low-fat milk
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Place blueberries and cherries in prepared baking dish.
Combine flour, milk, yogurt, sugar, salt, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk until well blended. Allow to stand 5 minutes. Pour over fruit.
Bake 40 to 42 minutes or until clafouti is set to the touch in the center. Let cool 10 minutes and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Per serving: 175 calories (15 percent from fat), 3 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), 84 milligrams cholesterol, 31 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein, 95 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.
Recipe developed for The Star by professional home economists Kathryn Moore and Roxanne Wyss.