Clofoutis is a thick custard made without a crust and when prepared, thin like the recipe below, resembles a custardy pancake. Technically, it is only a clofoutis when made with cherries but with other fruits it is called by the French a flaugnarde. My simple American mind calls it a cloufoutis regardless because of the original reference. To be honest, clofoutis sounds better than flaugnarde which does not sound like something I would prefer after my meal, at least to eat.
I once served my version to someone who was former French Foreign Legion and he did not correct me so clofoutis it is.
My main deviation from the standard is the inclusion of Labne, a Middle Eastern strained yogurt which gives it a firmer texture and some acidic flavor which appeals to me. It is often sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, but I find that to add an unnecessary layer of sweetness.
It is nice desert and if there is any left in the morning, it goes great with your morning joe.
Another dish for which I did not save the original link, but just a bit of research finds two posts for the same recipe that I saved.
No date stamp on Martha’s recipe, but the first review was on 1/16/2012 which is the same date on the Delish post. I will give MS the credit on this one.
If memory serves, it was some sort of event I was scheduled to attend that needed a desert. As per usual, I made it first to see just how it would taste and then again with my personal preferences attended to. Pears were out of season and dried sour cherries were out of my budget but I did have dried apricots. The first time I hydrated the apricots but thought them too mushy so the next time I just used them slivered but not hydrated. I often start with half of the sugar in the recipe but this did not look too sweet so ¼ cup of sugar seemed O.K. and it was not too much.
The first round was not quite as firm as I was looking for and needed a bit more tartness so I fortified the cream by using half Labne which was in the back of my fridge waiting for a walk on. The addition of the Labne made for a very stiff custard but it needed something just a bit more which I dealt with by the addition of lemon zest.
I made it for the 4th time to take to the event and it was popular enough that it has been added to my regular rotation. A non-dairy variant with coconut milk has been made as well but needs some experimentation to meet my personal thumbs up. That version was well met by the lactose intolerant at the table but I know it can be made better with a few tweeks.
Clofoutis with Dried Apricots or Flaugnarde to be Proper
- ¼ cup AP flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup dried Apricots and Pears
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¾ cup heavy cream/Labneh split between half cream and half Labneh
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Zest of ½ organic lemon
- Unsalted butter
- Set oven to heat at 400º
- Butter 9 inch non-stick round pan, 9 inch pie pan or 8 inch tart dish, dust with flour and shake out extra, using flour for dry ingredient. Hey folks, it’s Covid times and you never know when flour may run out again.
- Slice dried fruit into batons (sticks in case the language is vague), no need to hydrate. Spread evenly in bottom of pan
- Combine dry and wet ingredients separately first. Mix milk, cream, and Labne together well. You could skip this step and use a blender but I like to mix by hand with a whisk. The Labne is quite thick and needs to be evenly dispersed. Add eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla and mix. Slowly mix in dry ingredients to a smooth consistency
- Pour combined ingredients into pan over dried fruit. Pour slowly in circular motion to try and keep fruit evenly dispersed
- Into the hot oven for about 25 minutes or so until top is golden and center is well set. There will be darker caramelized spots on the edges. Poke test should be clean
- Wait at least 15 minutes out of oven to let it finish setting. It will deflate a bit as it cools. Good warm or refrigerated the next day. Try both ways to experience the different textures
Labneh: In Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, and Syria, labneh is made by straining the liquid out of yogurt until it takes on a consistency similar to a soft cheese. It tastes like tart sour cream or heavy strained yogurt and is a common breakfast dip. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strained_yogurt
If you cannot find your microplane for the lemon zest, do not be tempted to use an old fashioned hard cheese grater. Cleaning the lemon from the grater without a stiff brush may cause bloody fingers.
I like to use an organic lemon to avoid pesticides on the peel.
Any fresh or dried fruit can be used. Traditionally made with sour cherries and fresh pear.
It was my first use of this particular pan for clofoutis. This preparation was thinner than I would have liked. A smaller pan will yield a thicker clofoutis but adjustments need be made to bake temperature and time.
Can be made non-dairy by using alternative milks such as Almond Milk or Coconut Milk. Can be made Vegan, look on-line for various deviations.
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