A few weeks ago my parents were visiting from the West Coast of Canada. I decided to make a nice dinner at home and needed a fast but impressive dessert to finish the evening with. Years ago, I worked at a French restaurant in Vancouver that served the most wonderful clafoutis. It is the perfect dessert to make when you are rushed for time but still want to make something special and tasty. As my Gourmet cookbook states, "it effortlessly straddles the line between homey and elegant." Clafoutis originate from the Limousin region in France where traditionally they were made with black cherries. Purists claim that the pits of the cherries should be left in as they release a particular flavor while the clafoutis cooks.
The one I made used raspberries and almonds. However, I have seen it made with plums, apricots, blueberries and even white chocolate.
1/4 cup blanched whole almonds
2 tbsps all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsps sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsps unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp almond extract
6 oz raspberries
garnish: icing sugar
Preheat oven to 400F. Make sure your rack is in the middle of the oven.
Butter a shallow 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
Pulse almonds with flour in a blender until finely ground. Add milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, butter, salt, and almond extract and blend until smooth.
Scatter raspberries in baking dish, pour batter over berries and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Bake clafoutis until puffed and golden, 35-40 minutes. Cool slightly on a rack (clafoutis will deflate slightly as it cools) and serve warm, dusted with icing sugar.