Instead of apple pie this season, why not try a French Apple Clafoutis?
An apple cla-what, you say? Kla-foo Tee! Over a dozen years of classical ballet training (where a majority of the terminology is in French), 2 semesters of French in college, and nearly a decade studying pastry and I can hardly pronounce any of the words correctly myself. But, clafoutis - that I know!
Typically made with fresh cherries, clafoutis is a fruit-studded, egg-based custard that is baked up like a cake. It is like a cross between a flan and a giant pancake! Clafoutis is sometimes made with berries, stone fruit, and apples. Instead of painstakingly rolling out pie dough and meticulously weaving a lattice crust, make this apple dessert this holiday season.
My version of this french dish (to be served for dessert, breakfast, or if you ask me - with tea) is infused with cinnamon and smothered in vanilla-specked créme anglais. If you think you will miss the richness of buttery, flaky pie crust, but you can rest assured knowing that the creamy, velvety clafoutis with rich créme is plenty decadent.
French Apple Clafoutis serves 6
3-4 apples (I prefer a mix of sweet and tart), peeled and sliced 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large eggs 1/2 vanilla bean 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup sour cream 3/4 cup whole milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9 to 10-inch pie pan or baking dish and set aside.
- Toss the apple slices in the lemon juice and place in a medium saucepan or skillet.
- Add the butter and cook over medium-high heat for a few minutes.
- Add the brown sugar and cinnamon. Continue to cool until the apples are soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Whisk the eggs, seeds of the vanilla bean, and sugar until pale in color.
- Gradually stir in the flour and salt.
- While stirring, add in the sour cream and milk until combined.
- Pour half of the egg mixture in the pie pan.
- Cover with the apples then pour the rest of the egg mixture on top, making sure to leave a 1/2-inch or so from the top)
- Bake until the clafoutis is puffed, golden, and the center is set (about 35 to 40 minutes).
- Serve warm or at room temperature with créme anglais and a pinch of cinnamon.
1/2 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup whole milk 3 egg yolks 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1/2 vanilla bean
- In a medium saucepan, heat together the cream, milk and half of the sugar. Add the seeds of the vanilla and het until a light simmer.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining sugar and egg yolks.
- Once the milk mixture is hot, temper it into the egg yolks.
- Return everything back to the saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Strain the créme into a heat-safe container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
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