This Prune Clafoutis is the first clafoutis I have ever made and I don't know why I waited so long. It is one of the easiest desserts to make and in partnership with California Grown I used prunes, also known as dried plums, and the combination is so delicious. The prunes are soft and moist and the tartness goes perfectly with the creaminess of the clafoutis. Read on to learn more about California prunes and how to make this truly tasty dessert.
I love learning to make new desserts. There is a joy and wonder in discovering something new that tastes good and realizing at the same time that you successfully made something that tastes good and looks great. And sometimes the simplest things bring the greatest joy. I still remember the first time I made ganache. I couldn't believe that something with only two ingredients could taste so good and have so many uses from a chocolate glaze to chocolate truffles.
California prunes are the perfect year-round fruit. Because of their natural sweetness and moisture content, they taste great in this clafoutis as well as other desserts. In this clafouti, they don't dry out and texture is perfect with the creamy custard of the dessert. Plus they prunes don't give off any additional liquid so they don't turn the batter soggy and the clafoutis still tastes great the next day.
My husband calls this prune clafoutis the "good for you dessert," because they're good for your stomach. They have dietary fiber (12% of daily requirements per serving), potassium and several antioxidants that support healthy bones. And because they're so healthy they're great as a snack or in smoothies.
Just a few more fun Prune facts:
- California grows 99% of the nation’s prune crop, and 40% of the prunes in the world.
- Prunes were brought to California from France during the Gold Rush and grafted onto wild American plum stock. So it's the natural choice for this clafoutis.
- Good gut health is key to overall health and prunes contribute to digestive health in several ways: they deliver fiber, sorbitol, and polyphenols, which act as antioxidants in the diet.
To learn more about where your food comes from when shopping, check out this guide: How Do You Know It's From California. This information is especially important as we do more and more of our grocery shopping online.
What is Clafoutis
Clafoutis is a classic French dessert. In terms of ease to make, I would compare it to Buttermilk or Chess Pie. Clafouti is made by pouring a sweet batter over fruit. The batter has the consistency of pancake batter and it bakes into a light texture similar to a pudding or custard. Unlike a pudding, the clafouti is best eaten warm, but will still taste good the next day.
As I said earlier this is one of the easiest desserts to make. One bonus is that it is made with a small amout of flour, so it is easy to make it gluten free by using gluten free flour.
The clafoutis has 6 basic ingredients:
- Whole Eggs. The egg yolks add richness and the egg whites add structure. The recipe calls for 3 large eggs, so if you're using bigger eggs weigh the eggs. Too many egg whites can turn the custard rubbery.
- Granulated Sugar. The sugar is for sweetness,
- Whole Milk. As with any custard, whole milk helps the custard thicken. You can also replace part of the milk with heavy cream. In this recipe, I replaced part of the milk with mascarpone.
- All-Purpose Flour. The flour contributes to the structure of the clafoutis.
- Vanilla. Vanilla is for flavor.
- Fruit - Prunes. The prunes are the other star of this dessert next to the custard. Check out this colorful seasonal guide from California Grown to see what other fruits are available this time of year.
From there you can get creative. For this recipe, I used a combination of whole milk and mascarpone. The mascarpone made the clafouti extra creamy. I also added lemon juice as nice acidic contrast to the sweetness of the clafoutis and the prunes.
The prunes are a really good combination with the custard. The prunes don't add any additional liquid to the clafouti, and since they are already soft and moist the texture is perfect with the custard.
And since I am team texture I added toasted almonds and turbinado sugar to the top of the clafoutis. When you toast the almonds make sure you toast them until they are a light golden brown. That will ensure you have a nice crunch on the finished clafoutis. Absolutely yum!
How to Make the Prune Clafoutis
If you're in need of a quick dessert, the clafouti is perfect. Butter a 9-inch or 2-quart baking dish. Layer the prunes across the bottom in a single layer. In a large bowl beat the eggs, then add the sugar, whisk until the sugar is dissolved, the add the flour. Stir in the flour until it is just mixed in, don't overmix otherwise you will start to develop the gluten and possibly end up with a dessert that is chewy.
Add the milk, mascarpone, and lemon juice stir and pour over the prunes. Bake it until the tip of a paring knife comes out clean when stuck into the center. It's okay if there is a little custard on the knife as you pull it out. The clafouti will finish cooking after you pull it from the oven.
How to Make the Apple Caramel Sauce
The Apple Caramel Sauce is optional for this dessert and absolutely delicious. It's worth making just to have it in the refrigerator to use as a topping for any dessert. It is super easy to make and has 6 ingredients:
- Apple Cider. Reducing it concentrates the flavor and thickens it just a little.
- Brown Sugar. The brown sugar completes the caramelization of the cider and adds a little sweetness to the tart cider.
- Heavy Cream. The heavy cream keeps the caramel soft and pourable.
- Kosher Salt. A little salt a good addition to sweet desserts because it cuts through the sweetness and balances the flavor.
- Pure Vanilla Extract. Vanilla goes really well with apple.
Two cups of apple cider are boiled down to 1/2 cup and then combined with the brown sugar and heavy cream to creamy apple caramel sauce. The kosher salt and vanilla are stirred into the caramel after it is finished cooking.
My number one tip for success in this dessert is to watch the pot. I know they say that a watched pot never boils, but an unwatched boil will not only boil, but it will burn. The first time I made this apple caramel sauce, I burnt it and the pot. I turned away to take care of something else and when I turned back, large dark brown bubbles were rising from the pot. There was no saving that.
Once the caramel is done drizzle it over the prune clafoutis while it is still warm. The flavor combination of the prunes, custard, and apple is so good. Once the caramel is cooled to room temperature store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
If you've never made a French dessert before here is your chance. This Prune Clafoutis couldn't be easier and it is so good. Let me know if you make this dessert or send me a picture of what you make. You leave a comment at the blog, on Instagram @bakesbybrownsugar, or on Pinterest @bakesybrownsugar.
Prune Clafoutis with Apple Caramel Sauce
- 1 pound (454 grams) pitted prunes
- 3 (150 grams) large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour sifted
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup (121 grams) mascarpone cheese room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/3 cup (35 grams) almond slivers toasted
- 1 1/2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Apple Cider Caramel
- 2 cups (454 grams) apple cider
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar
- 1 cup (225 grams) heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Prune Clafoutis
- Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees.
- In a 2-cup measuring cup add the whole milk and the mascarpone and whisk to combine to the mascarpone and milk. Add the vanilla and salt and whisk to incorporate. Sift the flour onto a piece of wax or parchment paper.
- Generously butter a 9-inch glass or ceramic dish. Spread the prunes across the bottom of the prepared baking dish in a single layer. In a large bowl beat the eggs until they are foamy. Add the sugar and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Add the flour and whisk to thoroughly combined until there are no visible bits of flour. Add the milk-mascarpone mixture and whisk t combine. Add the lemon juice whisk until it is just incorporated.
- Pour the batter over the prunes. Sprinkle the almonds and the sugar across the top. Place the clafoutis into the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the tip of a paring knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Start checking for doneness after 30 minutes.
- Remove the clafoutis from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. It is best served warm and the same day. Store the clafoutis in the refrigerator if not consuming the same day.
For the Apple Cider Caramel
- Place the apple cider in 3-quart saucepan and boil until it is reduced to 1/2 cup. It should be slightly thicker. Add the brown sugar and boil on medium heat until it is bubbly and syrupy. Add the heavy cream and boil the mixture until it is reduced to 1 cup. It should register 233°F. Remove the caramel from the heat. Add the salt and vanilla, stir to combine. Pour the apple cider caramel into a heat-proof container.