Apple Batter Cake (Clafoutis aux Pommes)

Who doesn’t love apple desserts? Call me plain jane because I love a good dessert featuring the humble apple.

If you’re looking to have an apple dessert that is other than apple pie (don’t get me wrong I adore a good apple pie), here is a recipe for an apple batter cake known in French as a Clafoutis aux Pommes. Don’t let the fancy French name fool you, this is a very simple recipe. Throw the ingredients together, leave the electric mixer on the high shelf, just pull out the old wooden spoon.

A clafloutis is traditionally made with cherries that are smothered in a batter that can range in consistency from a creamy custard to a moist cake.   This recipe turns out to be more of a cake than a pudding. For a more pudding like clafoutis try this other version in tart form with raspberries, Clafoutis aux Framboise.

You don’t have to wait after dinner to enjoy the Apple Batter Cake. It is perfect for breakfast since this is as much effort I can manage first thing in the morning before caffeine.

I use a variety of apples for this recipe to create layers of flavor and texture. Some of my favorites are Winesaps for their complex and spicy flavor, heirloom Gravensteins which has subtle tartness with hints of white wine, and Granny Smiths which have a bright tartness.

Clafoutis aux Pommes

special equipment:

9″ x 12″ x 2 1/2″ deep ceramic baking dish

6 medium sized apples, quartered, cored, peeled, and cut into 1/4″ slices

1 c. Whole Milk (Thistle Farm Milk)

1 tbsp. Salted Butter

1 tbsp. Baking Powder

4 Eggs

2 1/2 c. AP flour

1 1/2 c. Dark Muscado Brown Sugar

1/2 c. Heavy Cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease a large ceramic baking dish with butter and layer the apple slices evenly into the dish. In a large bowl, combine the milk, baking powder, sugar, eggs, heavy cream and flour and mix until batter is smooth.

3. Pour batter over apples and gently jiggle the dish to distribute the batter evenly. Transfer to oven and bake for about 50-55 minutes or until golden brown crust has formed and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, and serve warm.

Full disclosure: My recipe is based one that appeared years ago in Saveur. I used dark Muscado sugar for hints of caramel and spice, and used salted butter instead unsalted because the salt adds depth of flavor and brings out the caramel and apple flavors.

I’ll never forget the photo that accompanied the recipe. It was of a robust pepper gray haired woman in an apron sporting a broad welcoming smile. She’s the French Auntie we all dream of, the one who lives in the South of France on a farm with free grazing goats and cooks from the heart.

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