One of the great, great, great (three times, I know, that’s how great I think it is) pleasures of summer is figuring out what to do with all of that fruit that floods the markets. Stone fruits like plums, peaches, nectarines, cherries; melons of all stripes; and berries. Oh, the berries.
Yes, we eat them by the fistful when we’re lucky. Did you ever read Blueberries for Sal? One of my favorite children’s books, where Sal and a baby bear meet while they are overindulging in a thicket of blueberries on a hill.
Anyway, when I read that book as a kid, and then later to my own kids, I definitely thought that this unlimited berry opening was an opportunity not to be squandered, and knew where Sal and that bear were coming from.
So besides funneling them straight into our mouths, there are some other excellent choices for how to use these berries. One of my favorites is a clafoutis.
A clafoutis (or clafouti) is a baked dessert of French origin, classically made with cherries, even more classically made with cherries with the pits still left in them, all ensconced in a lightly sweetened pancake-like batter which is poured over the fruit, and which puffs up enticingly all around the fruit when it bakes. But it’s also great with all kinds of fruit, especially berries.
Are you sold? Good. AND it’s very easy. This particular rendition cools into a kind of custardy cake, and if you can serve and eat it while slightly warm you will be in for a heightened layer of deliciousness.
A few cracks may appear as it cools– this is just the way it goes.
In a berry mood? Try these recipes:
- Ricotta Berry Breakfast Crostini
- Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake with Sweet Vanilla Drizzle
- Peach Blueberry Crisp
- Blueberry and Peach Crostada
Summer Berry Clafoutis with Whipped Cream
For the Berry Clafoutis
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 pound strawberries halved, or quartered if large
- 1 tablespoon Chambord framboise or other berry liquor
- 4 large eggs
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups half-and-half
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
For the Sweetened Whipped Cream
- 1 ½ cups heavy or whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a shallow 2½ to 3 quart casserole.
- Place the berries in the casserole. Sprinkle over the Chambord, toss the berries with the liquor, and spread them out in a single layer.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs well, then add the sugar, salt and vanilla ad whisk well to combine. Dump in the flour and whisk until the batter becomes very smooth. Slowly pour in the half-and-half and whisk until incorporated. Pour the batter over the berries.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, and the whole thing is prettily puffed and nicely browned. Cool the pan on a wire rack until the clafoutis is slightly warm, or at room temperature, knowing that it may crack in a spot or two, which is fine.
- While the clafoutis is baking, make the whipped cream. In a large mixing bowl, using a whisk or a hand mixer, whip the cream and confectioners’ sugar just until slightly firm peaks are formed.
- Dust the clafoutis with confectioners’ sugar before serving, and serve with whipped cream.
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