Have you ever had clafoutis? I never did until I met my husband, who is French, and I began to search out French dishes I could make for him. Clafoutis hail from the Limousin region of south central France, not far from where he grew up in Marseille. They are traditionally made with cherries that still contain their pits, butter, sugar, milk and eggs.
Years ago, the first time I made clafoutis, I remembered how thrilled my husband was to eat them again and how fun it was for me to discover a new dessert possibility. (Can you ever have enough of those?)
But not long after that, after being vegetarian for nearly 20 years, I finally made the leap (with some trepidation, as I recall) to a vegan diet. The clafoutis were no more.
Lately clafoutis once again came into my mind. This time I imagined little individual-sized clafoutis. A few bites. I could start with a muffin tin brushed with melted vegan butter and sprinkled with sugar, the cherries divided evenly. Like this:
Turns out veganizing clafoutis is very possible and I wonder why I never did it before!
Another change I made this time was using frozen pitted cherries. Clafoutis purists will certainly protest, insisting the pits add an important flavor element, but our eldest is in braces and we have enough dentist bills at the moment. Also, it's winter and cherries are not to be found in Pennsylvania these days.
Since these are small, they beg to be picked up and eaten out of hand (no doubt another faux pas). This creates the possibility that a dusting of powdered sugar will land on your shirt. Trust me, it's worth it.
Note the recipe says "Makes 12" and not "Serves 12". In all honesty, not one of us was able to eat just one. SOMEONE didn't even wait for the photo to be taken.
I won't name names. But you can probably guess. :)
Muffin Pan Cherry Clafoutis
1 TB vegan butter, melted
1 TB plus ½ cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
12.3 oz container extra firm silken tofu, drained
1 cup soymilk
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. frozen cherries (or raspberries)
Confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional, but delicious)
Preheat oven to 350F. Coat the cups of a 12 cup muffin pan with the melted butter. Sprinkle with 1 TB of the sugar. Tap the pan on the side to evenly coat each cup with the sugar.
In a blender, combine the remaining sugar, flour, baking powder, tofu, soymilk, lemon zest and vanilla. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides with a spatula as needed.
Divide the cherries or raspberries evenly in the muffin tin. Gently pour the batter over the fruit. A generous ¼ cup per clafouti will do it.
Bake 25-30 minutes, or until each clafouti is puffed and firm to the touch. Let cool for 5 minutes before running a knife around the edge of each one and carefully inverting the pan to release.
Arrange on a platter and dust with the confectioner’s sugar, if using.
May be served immediately or at room temperature.
I know it if probably not very French to do, but you can also reheat the claufoutis in the microwave for 15 seconds to take the chill off when serving later. The kids and I prefer them warm!