Clafoutis may sound fancy but this French dessert is surprisingly easy to make. In this version, a fig clafoutis from talented Chef Sondra Bernstein, summery black mission figs are the star. The result is a dessert that’s easy but delicious and sure to be a summertime favorite of everyone who tries this incredible clafoutis.
What is clafoutis?
If you’re into French desserts, you’ve probably tried a clafoutis. But you may never have made one yourself. After all, even the word clafoutis sounds a little intimidating.
But you’ll be surprised to learn that this is a great choice for a low-stress dessert. And it’s a good choice even for novice bakers.
Clafoutis is basically a dessert made of a batter – sort of like a pancake batter – poured over fruit. Because the batter is egg-rich, it puffs up over the fruit as it bakes. The result is an ethereal, lightly sweet dessert.
Tips for making this French dessert
As with most desserts, the success of a clafoutis relies on the chemistry of baking.
- Measure accurately
And for that reason, following the recipe closely is important. You need to measure your batter ingredients precisely.
- Strain the batter
But also be sure to strain the batter as required in step 4 of the instructions. This ensures that your batter has the right texture. (Some bakers also recommend letting the clafoutis batter rest for about 30 minutes before pouring it over the fruit to allow the protein in the flour to relax.)
- Don’t freeze the leftovers
A light, batter-based dessert, clafoutis doesn’t freeze well. It also tends to get a bit wet if you try to reheat it. The best thing to do with this or any clafoutis is eat it! Leftovers can be saved in the refrigerator and eaten cold or warmed to room temperature for about 3 days.
Finish this fresh fig recipe with a drizzle of caramel
Sondra tops her clafoutis with a drizzle of caramel sauce. If you find making caramel sauce too challenging, that’s ok. Making caramel sauce does take constant attention.
I can attest to the fact that this fig clafoutis is delicious even without the sauce. However, as I wrote in my aphrodisiac cookbook Eat Cake Naked, caramel sauce is one of the sexiest foods you can make. So if you’re making this clafoutis dessert for a romantic dinner, plan on extra caramel!
Black Mission Fig Claufoutis with Homemade Caramel Sauce
For the clafoutis:
- 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1⅓ cups sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- 6 tbsp Armagnac or brandy
- 8 large eggs
- 12 fresh black mission figs halved (1 cup rehydrated dried figs, quartered, can be substituted)
For the caramel sauce:
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
Powdered sugar, for garnish
To prepare the clafouti:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 9-inch cake pan and set aside.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
- Form a well and using a fork, mix in the milk, melted butter, Armagnac, and eggs.
- Beat until smooth and strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Place the figs face down in the cake pan and cover with the clafouti mixture.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the clafouti comes out clean.
To prepare the sauce:
- Heat the sugar in a stainless-steel pan over medium-high heat and stir occasionally until the sugar turns brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter, and whisk until the butter has melted.
- Add the cream and continue to stir constantly until the cream is completely incorporated. (Makes about 1 cup)
- Slice the clafouti into 6 slices and transfer each slice to a plate.
- Drizzle each slice with the caramel sauce and dust with powdered sugar. (You can also warm the clafouti in a low oven before serving.)
Want more fig recipes? Then check out Sondra Bernstein’s cookbook, Plats du Jour; the girl & the fig’s Journey Through the Seasons in Wine Country
Pin this Black Mission Fig Clafoutis recipe:
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