Welcome to Cake Week! You’re about to experience a full week of chocolate, butter, sugar, and indulgence. Are you ready?
We’re starting off slowly with a simple nectarine clafouti, which is a custard-like French cake that resembles a very short soufflé. The first time I ever heard of a clafouti was when I was watching Jacques Pepin’s Fast Food My Way on PBS. He made a gorgeous cherry clafouti, but what really sold me on the recipe was the way he pronounced “clafouti” with his thick French accent. The experience of making the clafouti seemed so refined and simple, like a rustic French dessert should appear. A clafouti is supposed to be a treat to share with friends at the end of a summer evening—it is not an arduous laminated pastry that takes 20 hours to make (along with 20 tablespoons of butter).
This is the type of dessert that lets summer produce show off; all it takes is a spiral of ripe stone fruit and a simple batter that comes together in under 5 minutes. The batter insulates the fruit from the dry heat of the oven, so the resulting clafouti is studded with still juicy wedges of nectarines.
What I love about it is that it comes out of the oven, almost spilling out of the pan in some spots, but in a short period of time the clafouti collapses and the nectarines settle, creating a dessert that can be sliced or spooned into bowls and served with whipped cream.
Adapted from Gourmet
Makes 1 9-10 inch clafouti, serving 8-10
3 nectarines, pitted and sliced into wedges
½ cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-10 inch cake pan with a removable bottom and place the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400F and make sure the rack is in the middle position.
- Arrange the nectarine slices in a spiral in the bottom on the prepared pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until well combined. Add the melted butter and whisk well to combine.
- Add the flour and salt and mix until a smooth batter forms, with no lumps.
- Slowly whisk in the milk and vanilla until fully incorporated. This should look like a thin pancake batter.
- Pour the batter over the nectarine slices in the pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and puffed. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving and serve with whipped cream.