I bought a few peaches this week and they hit their peak today, filling the kitchen that sweet, floral aroma of ripe peaches. I ate one, then wanted to use the rest in a dessert where they would shine. Peaches go well in many dishes, but I decided on a Peach Clafoutis. It’s hard to beat a clafoutis for a one-dish fruit dessert because they are easy to make and really showcase the fruit they use, letting the fruit stand out in flavor and in appearance.
I have lots of Meyer lemons around my kitchen and decided to give this clafoutis a little more dimension by including some of the zest. Meyer lemons are not as acidic as regular lemons, and their zest lends a lemon flavor that is mellow and sweet. Meyer lemons are at the peak of their season during the late winter, but many trees – including mine – produce fruit all year round. You can substitute regular lemon zest for Meyer lemon zest, or use a mix of orange and lemon, if you don’t have any Meyer lemons on hand.
The clafoutis batter is somewhere between a pancake and a custard. It has lots of egg and milk in it, and it has just enough flour to hold everything together and puff up nicely during baking. Semi-firm fruits, like peaches and pears, work beautifully in clafoutis because they are in the oven just long enough to become fork-tender without losing their shape. This clafoutis tastes like peaches and cream, with juicy bursts of sweet peach and a smooth vanilla custard flavor in the background. The Meyer lemon is subtle and gives the clafoutis just the right bit of brightness. It can be served warm, straight from the oven or refrigerated and served chilled.
Peach and Meyer Lemon Clafoutis
3 medium sized ripe-but-firm peaches
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk (low fat is fine)
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tsp Meyer lemon zest
Preheat oven to 425F and lightly grease a 10-inch round baking/tart dish or a deep 9-inch pie plate.
Peel peaches (a fruit peeler or small knife works well) and cut them into eighths. Arrange peach slices in a single layer in the tart dish in a spiraling pattern.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to combine. Add in eggs, milk, vanilla and Meyer lemon zest and whisk until very smooth. This can also be done in the food processor. Pour mixture on top of berries and sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp sugar.
Bake for 15 minutes at 425F. Turn oven down to 350F and bake an additional 20-25 minutes, until clafoutis is golden brown and a tester (sharp knife) inserted into the center comes out clean.
Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.