Fruit desserts are always front-and-center on my dessert menu during the summer. There are so many choices, from berries to stone fruits, that the options for easy and elegant desserts are almost endless. This Fresh Apricot Clafoutis really showcases sweet summer apricots when they are at their peak by combining them with a classic French custard base.
You’ll need a couple of handfuls of fresh apricots for this recipe. The exact number you need will vary a bit, depending on the size of the fruits that you choose to work with, but 7 or 8 should be plenty. It is better to have an extra apricot available than to come up short when assembling the dish! The apricots should be sliced in half and have their pits removed, but you can leave the skins on. While apricot skins are slightly fuzzy, they’re also quite thin, so they don’t take away from the texture of the finished dish (and I quite like the slightly rustic look they give, particularly if you find a few with a pinkish hue to them).
The apricots should be placed cut-side-up and surrounded with a vanilla custard mixture. The custard is made with eggs, milk, sugar and flour. The flour gives this dish some structure and makes it easy to slice and serve. Still, the dish is very custardy and has a classic custard flavor, with a hint of egginess that works well with vanilla.
The clafoutis is done when the custard is lightly browned and the apricots are tender. The apricots have a wonderful floral quality that really comes through once they have baked. You can serve this dish while it is still warm or wait until it has cooled to room temperature. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator and, fortunately, they taste just as good cold as they do warm.
Fresh Apricot Clafoutis
7-8 ripe, fresh apricots
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 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 425F and lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate.
Cut apricots in half, remove the pits and arrange cut-side-up in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, milk, vanilla and lemon zest until very smooth. This can also be done in the food processor. Pour mixture on top of apricots (apricots will still be somewhat exposed) 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.