There’s the classic cherry clafoutis, of course, but you can make a variation of the French dessert with pretty much any fruit. Apple and blackberry makes a delicious combination.
THE VERSATILE DESSERT FROM THE LIMOUSIN
Clafoutis is one of the most versatile French desserts and finds its origins in the Limousin, a lush, green region situated in the heart of the Massif Central. If you’ve never made clafoutis, think of it as a ‘custardy’ type of cake. It doesn’t call for that much flour, so there isn’t much of a crumb to the dessert. I guess you can also compare it to a crustless quiche. Besides the cherry variation, I have made the dessert with strawberries, blueberries, plums, apricots (officially called a flognarde) and even vegetables for a savory variation (perfect for lunch with a green salad) and a glass of wine.
MARLENE APPLES & BLACKBERRIES
After receiving a test pack of Marlene apples (a leading Italian brand of gourmet apples grown in South Tyrol by approximately five thousand dedicated producers), I decided to try my hand at an apple and blackberry flognarde. The result was a lusciously fruity dessert, not too sweet or heavy and utterly gorgeous with a dusting of powdered sugar. I used two different varieties of Marlene apples, the Fuji, which added a bit of ‘bite’ to the clafoutis, and the Royal Gala, which is sweet and aromatic. All Marlene apples carry the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) label which certifies they were grown in this beautiful region of the Alps — a region that profits from extremely favorable weather conditions (it boasts more than two thousand hours of sunlight per year!) and rich, fertile soils. Tasty apples make for a tasty flognarde! For a tart touch, I added a small handful of plump blackberries.
Apple & Blackberry Flognarde
- 400g apples (I used a Fuji and a Royal Gala)
- 125g blackberries
- 250g crème fraîche
- 50ml whole milk
- Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
- 3 eggs
- 100g all-purpose flour
- 60g fine sugar
- 1 tbsp brown rum
- Powdered sugar, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a rectangular baking dish of approx. 26 x 18.5cm with butter. Peel, core and chop the apples. Spread them over the baking dish together with the blackberries. In a large bowl, whisk the crème fraîche, milk and vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, flour, sugar and rum. Add this mixture to the cream, eggs and vanilla and whisk well. Pour the custard over the fruit and bake the clafoutis for 35-40 minutes. Delicious warm or cold. You can dust it with powdered sugar or serve with ice cream for a more decadent dessert.