30 September, 2009

September recipe: Blackberry clafoutis

Clafoutis is a French pudding of fruit baked in batter. I first encountered it on a walking holiday in the volcanic Auvergne mountains in Central France, where every village restaurant seemed to have a variation of cherry clafoutis on the dessert menu.

Cherries in Britain are something of a luxury, so I never have any spare for cooking. But what we do have is an abundance of juicy blackberries in August and September most years. So I adapted the dish to use blackberries. Here it is. If you’ve been clambering up extinct volcanoes all day, it serves two. Otherwise, four.

Blackberry clafoutis

7 oz (approx 200 g) blackberries
2 oz (approx 50 g) plain flour
2 oz (approx 50 g) sugar
1 egg
0.25 pint (approx 140 ml) milk
1 Tablespoon (1 x 15 ml spoon) sherry

Wash the blackberries. If you picked them wild out of a hedge, evict the spiders, beetles and other startled wildlife.

Grease a shallow heatproof dish and put the blackberries in the bottom. They should form a single layer, more or less. If you have to stack them several deep, you need a bigger dish.

Mix the flour, sugar and egg to a smooth paste.

Gradually blend in the milk. Remember to keep scraping the paste off the back of the spoon and mixing it in. You should end up with a smooth batter about the consistency of thin cream.

Stir in the sherry.

Pour over the blackberries.

Bake in a hot oven at around 180 C for 30-40 minutes until the batter is puffed up, set and golden.

Serve with pouring cream.
If there is any left over, it is also good eaten cold the following day.


Meghan said...


Nicola Griffith said...

Now that sounds worth trying...

Constance Brewer said...

Wow, this sounds good. I'll have to try it. I won't even tinker with it first time around. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I know nothing about French cooking, but this sounds great and pretty easy. One of the main characters in my upcoming book is French ... so maybe I'll make this in his honor. ;-)

Nicola Griffith said...

I tried it. My chef (hey, it was my birthday, I wasn't cooking) said your directions were great.

So thank you!

Gabriele Campbell said...

Hm, with the abundance of cherries we get - heck, I'm living in one of the major cherry growing areas in Germany - I could even try the original. Though I like blackberries, too.

Carla said...

Thanks, everyone.

Constance - you can tinker with the fruit all you like (cherries, plums, blackberries all work), but it's worth being reasonably careful with the proportions in the batter.

Frances Hunter - Hello and welcome. Yes, it's good to eat and easy to make (most recipes that make it into my repertoire fall into this category). Bear in mind that this is my adaptation, so it probably isn't very authentically French by now :-)

Nicola - You're welcome, and I'm glad you liked it! Please thank your chef for her kind words.

Gabriele - you could indeed try it with cherries if you live in a cherry-growing area. I never have, so let me know how it works out! It also works with plums (halve and stone them) as well as blackberries. So you could eat it all summer, from the cherry season through the plum season to the blackberry season :-)