A clafoutis is somewhere between a cake and a custard. It’s a french dish, a baked dessert (although you can make savory clafoutis as well) that has lots of milk and eggs in it and is held together with a little flour for added stability. In general, clafoutis have a great eggy flavor to them and go well with a variety of different fruits. Pears are one of my favorites, but for a summer fruit, ripe strawberries work very well in the dish.
I usually make big clafoutis, using pie plates or quiche dishes, and cutting the clafoutis into slices for serving. This time around, I decided to make my clafoutis in individual dessert cups and produce single-serving sizes. I used whole strawberries – minus the green tops – and placed them in the bottom of each dish. I fit three into each and wrote the recipe that way, but if your strawberries are unusually large or unusually small, you might want to use one less or a few more. You basically want to cover the bottom of the cup with whole berries. I filled each dish with the custard mixture and baked.
The finished clafoutis were amazing when still warm from the oven. The custardy portion of the clafoutis was smooth, soft and had notes of both egg and vanilla. It also picked up a bit of strawberry juice that the berries released during baking. The berries were tender, but not mushy. The whole thing reminded me a bit of strawberry shortcake and a bit of the strawberry bread pudding I made not too long ago. This dish doesn’t take long to make and works well for breakfast, dessert and an afternoon snack.
Individual Strawberry Clafoutis
18 fresh strawberries
1/2 cup all purpose flour
6 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 425F.
Wash and dry strawberries, then trim leafy tops off. Take out six 6-oz ramekins or oven-safe custard cups and place 3 strawberries in the bottom of each.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add in milk, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts and whisk very vigorously until mixture is smooth and lump-free. This can also be done in the food processor.
Divide custard evenly into ramekins, filling each about 2/3 – 3/4 full. Strawberries may float up a bit, which is fine.
Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Turn the oven temperature down to 350F as you put the baking sheet in the oven.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted into the center of each clafoutis comes out clean.
Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Clafoutis will fall somewhat during cooling.