Hello, and welcome to the easiest dessert you’ll make all summer long. Yes, today’s Cherry Apricot Clafoutis requires little more than a strong wrist (or, more realistically, a food processor) and somewhat undivided attention. I suppose you have to have a slight amount of patience to pit the cherries, but really, put on a decent podcast (may I suggest The Sporkful’s current series “Your Mom’s Food”?) and the mind-numbing repetition will promptly fade into the background.
You may have noticed, I also gave this sweet little number the picnic seal of approval. That’s because I actually tested it out and it was perfectly excellent. I’m usually wary of traveling with dairy products, but this Cherry Apricot Clafoutis stood up so well that I felt it was a worthy addition to the Summer Picnic Series.
Today’s Cherry Apricot Clafoutis represents everything I love about summertime baking. In the summer, a minimal amount of effort yields delicious and breathtaking results. Seasonal produce does all the heavy lifting. The cherries and apricots are juicy, stunning, and flavorful all on their own. All you have to do is whip a quick custard together and shower it with powdered sugar. Essentially, your dash of attention allows you to steal the fruit’s considerable thunder. You could almost feel bad about it. Almost.
For the longest time, I was afraid of clafoutis and not just because I sound like an idiot when I try to say it out loud. I feared it because it seemed so simple. Experience has taught me that when a French dessert sounds simple, it’s usually not. There’s always something I have not considered, something that only appears effortless in the hands of a seasoned pastry chef. I was certain all manner of disaster would befall my fledgling clafoutis. I thought the surface might crack like so many of my cheesecakes; I thought it would bubble over, leaving me with an inedible dessert and a sticky oven to boot; I thought of every potential disaster but still, I went ahead with my clafoutis and I am so glad I did.
As you can see, any cracks my clafoutis earned only made it look more appetizing and it never boiled over. This Cherry Apricot Clafoutis looks just as it should. After I finished making it, I actually felt uneasy. It couldn’t be this simple. Surely, I had missed a step. But no, it really is that easy and it’s French so people were pretty impressed when I served it. Now, I could spend the remainder of this blog post attempting to convince you my success was due to my considerable talent, but why?
As a person who has suffered from and subjected love ones to more than my fair share of kitchen fails, I know what an easy win can give a person. An easy win can make you feel like the goddess of butter and love; an easy win can give you the confidence to get back in the kitchen; an easy win can steel you against another 20 flops as you stumble your way towards culinary greatness. Everyone needs that easy win and that easy win is this Cherry Apricot Clafoutis.
The thing I really love about this Cherry Apricot Clafoutis? It’s a delicious dessert that celebrates simplicity and imperfection. Each crack and wayward cherry only adds to its immense charm. Perhaps if we approached life the same way we would not feel so dissatisfied or inferior. Yes, this clafoutis might just be the perfect metaphor for a life well lived… Or maybe it’s just a really awesome dessert. You can get philosophical about it, you could just eat it or you could do both. I don’t really care what you do as long as this Cherry Apricot Clafoutis winds up in your oven.
- 3 apricots, pitted & sliced in wedges
- 1 cup Rainier cherries, pitted & halved
- 1/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Confectioner's sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Grease a large cast iron skillet or medium-sized casserole dish with unsalted butter.
- Place the cherries, apricots and pistachios in the dish or skillet in an even layer.
- Pour the milk in a food processor and add the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Blitz until very smooth.
- Add the flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg to the milk mixture and blitz until no clumps remain.
- Pour the mixture over the fruit and place the dish or skillet in the oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the center is set and the edges are golden.
- Remove the clafoutis from the oven and set aside to deflate and cool.
- When the clafoutis has cooled, sprinkle the surface with confectioner's sugar and cut into squares or wedges. Serve immediately.