Discover Gill Meller’s fresh take on the traditional French pudding, taken from his new book ‘Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower’
IMAGE: ANDREW MONTGOMERY
A clafoutis is a traditional fruit pudding from the Limousin region of France. It’s usually made with black cherries but blueberries are equally good. As the pudding’s baking, the batter puffs up in the heat of the oven – it looks splendid, but this is short-lived. As soon as you take the clafoutis out of the oven and into the cool air of the kitchen, the batter begins to collapse. It’s sort of terrifying, particularly if you’ve never made a clafoutis before – like watching your child grow old and frail in the space of minutes. Happily, this is exactly what’s supposed to happen and is where the batter gets its unique, suave texture. Serve warm with cold double cream.
A Blueberry Clafoutis
- 300 g (10 1/2oz) blueberries
- Juice and finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 1 large knob of butter, melted, plus a little extra for greasing
- 1 tbsp unrefined granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 50 g (1 3/4oz) plain flour
- 75 g (2 1/2oz) unrefined caster sugar
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 275 ml (9 1/2 fl oz) whole milk
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6.
- Place the blueberries in a bowl with the lemon juice and zest and the thyme leaves. Crush a few through your hands to get the juices flowing. Grease a 24cm (9½in) round cake tin or baking dish with a little butter. Scatter over the tablespoon of granulated sugar and give the tin or dish a shake to coat.
- Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the caster sugar and pinch of salt. Combine the eggs, milk and melted butter in a separate bowl and pour half the mixture over the flour. Whisk until you have a thick yet smooth batter. Then, whisk in the remaining egg mixture. (Adding it in two portions like this will help keep the lumps at bay.)
- Scatter the berries out over the base of the prepared cake tin or baking dish. Pour over the batter then give the tin a little shake to settle everything in place. Bake for about 30 minutes, until just set with a slight wobble in the middle. Sprinkle the top with a little extra granulated sugar and allow to cool for 10–15 minutes before serving.
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