A heavenly French dessert for Dad

made low fat and gluten-free for dessert or brunch

Clafoutis oops!
Credit: Fiona Henderson (fifikins on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Clafoutis is said

like "klah-FOO-tee"

Father's Day is on June 15th this year and although my dad passed away many years ago, I fondly remember how much he loved cherry cheesecake.

In Canada, cherries are in season in June; followed by blueberries in July.[1] Sure, I used to eat cherry cheesecake, but then I discovered that the average slice contains 450 - 475 calories.[2]

On the other hand, a slice of clafoutis (which is just as rich-tasting) contains 250 - 275 calories.[3] And the fabulous thing about clafoutis is you can prepare the mixture the night before and bake it while you are eating dinner.[4] Served up warm, it's a dreamy French dessert that you'll never forget.

Without cherries it's a flaugnarde

pronounced "floo-NAR-due"

Fruit Pie
Credit: Rob Boudon on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Ahh, the smell of dessert baking in the oven

Aromatherapy for your home

I'm a big fan of the "one bowl" or "make ahead" recipes. Before I began to bake more at home, I looked for store-bought shortcuts, like pre-made pie crusts and canned pie fillings. Blah.

Do you remember when fruit flans were all the rage?

And I'd also see those empty fruit flan shells in stores (stacked to the ceiling) and everyone would tell me, "Oh make a fruit flan with these, it's so easy."

Thing is, mine sucked. The flan shell I bought was stale and tasteless. It was like putting fresh fruit on a stale crumb pile. Then I'd add some crappy whipped topping (edible oil product) and try to enjoy it. Double blah.

Once in a while, I'd look at the fancy fruit flans displayed in the bakery department and I'd wonder, "What the heck is that gooey slime layer on top of the fruit?"

Fruit flan
Credit: pualv on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Phlegm is out

Freshly baked is in

Not wanting to consume more prepackaged desserts (and mucus doesn't look too appetizing), I sourced out how to make a clafoutis. And, it's easier than pie.

I know black cherries are ideal[5] for this recipe, although I like to use blueberries too. So, that makes my version a combination of a clafoutis and a flaugnarde[6] (aptly named by me a claflaugtisde). It's pronounced a "kla-FLOO-tee-DUE."

Anchor Hocking 5-Piece Oven Basics Pie Baking Set

Anchor Hocking 5-Piece Oven Basics Pie Baking Set RoseWrites 2014-05-08 5.0 0 5

Anchor Hocking (or any clear baking pan)

Anchor Hocking 5-Piece Oven Basics Pie Baking Set
Amazon Price: $17.99 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 25, 2016)
I try to use glass bakeware - especially with fruit. It's more hygienic, healthier, and better for the environment than nonstick pans. Plus, I don't need to open the oven door as often to check for over-browning. I felt this set (which includes two deep dish pie pans, two mixing bowls, and a measuring cup) would make an ideal set for those starting out (or venturing into the "kla-FLOO-tee-due" world with me).

Traditionally, cherries with pits are used

releasing amygdalin (found in almond extract)

Fresh cherry clafoutis for breakfast, pits included
Credit: Rex Roof on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

A quick review of the traditional method

No words are spoken (a little girl is making it):

An overview of a blueberry clafoutis

My written recipe (with variations) is next

Rose's Gluten-Free Kla-FLOO-tee-DUE

You can make either a clafoutis or flaugnarde

I checked out recipes from Julia Child,[3] Raymond Blanc,[4] Chatelaine magazine,[7] Get Cracking[8] (Eggs Calendar), and LCBO's Food & Drink[9] magazine and decided to come up with my own gluten-free version.

Using Bob's Red Mill guide,[10] I added 1/4 tsp. of xanthan gum to my gluten-free all purpose flour. The amount of xanthan gum recommended depends on what you are baking. (Generally, the fluffier the baked good, the more xanthan gum you'll need).
NOTE: If you are using regular flour, just omit the xanthan gum.
Another great thing about this recipe is there's plenty of wiggle room. If you don't have 2 cups of cherries or other fruit, 1 cup (or even less) will do. I'm certainly open to experimentation (even in the kitchen).

Serves: 6 | Prep: 15 - 20 mins | Total: 30 - 55 mins

*If you are taking the pits out of the cherries, you may wish to sprinkle slivered almonds on top for an authentic-tasting clafoutis.
1 - 2 cups cherries (with or without pits*) and/or blueberries
3 eggs
1/3 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum (omit if using regular flour)
1/4 - 1/3 cup sugar - adjust amount accordingly (e.g. use 1/4 cup sugar per 2 cups of fruit or 1/3 cup sugar per 2 cups of fruit)
1 can (370 mL / 12.5 oz.) evaporated milk 
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
2 tsp. salted* butter (at room temperature) *If using unsalted butter, add 1/8 tsp. salt 
Optional: 1 tsp. finely grated lemon rind, orange liqueur, or tequila
Set out eggs and butter to bring them up to room temperature. Wash, rinse, drain, and drip dry cherries/blueberries in a colander and set aside. Remove pits from cherries, if desired.
Ensure oven racks are adjusted so that your clafoutis or flaugnarde (or claflaugtisde) will bake in the center. Preheat oven to between 375 - 400 F (190 - 205 C).
In a small-medium bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum (if using gluten-free flour), and sugar. Butter an 8 or 9-inch square (or round) deep dish pie (or cake) pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs until a bit bubbly. Add evaporated milk, vanilla, and lemon rind or liqueur (if desired). Combine thoroughly.
NOTE: If you wish to make the batter the night before, keep dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls until your oven is up to temperature. Your claflaugtisde will be fluffier that way.
Slowly add dry mixture (from smaller bowl) to wet ingredients, whisking to "just combine" everything. Don't over-mix it, it doesn't need to be perfectly smooth.
Pour a thin layer of batter over bottom of buttered pan. Dab dry cherries/blueberries (if need be) and distribute them evenly over thin batter layer. Pour remaining batter over cherries/blueberries and bake 25 - 35 minutes. TIP: Check for over-browning after 15 - 20 minutes and use a tented piece of foil to protect the top, if necessary. 
Once ready, your claflaugtisde should be lightly brown on top and jiggle when moved. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes (this helps it to "set" some more). Serve warm, dusted with sugar or with a dollop of real whipped cream.

My blueberry flaugnarde

My blueberry flaugnarde
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved