Clafoutis is a deliciously confounding little dessert. The French classic is not quite a custard, nor is it a cake. It's something delightfully in between, and anyone who's ever made skillet corn bread can draw some parallels in the procedure.

You make a simple batter, thinner than pancake, thicker than crepe. I depart a bit from tradition here by folding in a little whipped egg white, soufflé-inspired, to yield a "How did he do that?" textural result—it's dense and custardy yet somehow light and delicate. And it's incredibly easy to make, a go-to that'll impress guests. Warm a skillet. Butter it. Tumble around some fruit. Pour in the batter, and bake. The elegant result belies the almost non-technique. I won't tell if you won't.

Keith’s Recipe Breakdown(click the image below to enlarge)

Cranberry and Dark Cherry ClafoutisHands-on: 20 min. Total: 45 min.When beating such a small amount of egg white (you only need one) to soft peaks, it's easy to do by hand. Just place the white in a medium bowl, and beat vigorously with a whisk; it should take about a minute.

Follow These Steps:

• Preheat oven to 400°.

• Place cranberries in a small bowl; cover with boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes; drain.

• Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

• Whisk together milk, cream, liqueur, almond extract, 2 eggs, and 1 yolk.

• Gradually sift flour mixture into milk mixture, whisking until smooth. Fold in egg white. Set aside.

• Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter; swirl until butter melts. Add cherries and cranberries; sauté 3 minutes.

• Remove skillet from heat. Pour batter evenly over fruit mixture.

• Bake at 400° for 14 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

• Combine ricotta, 1 tablespoon sugar, cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

• Grate ½ teaspoon rind from tangerines; stir into ricotta mixture.

• Cut tangerines into sections; discard membranes. Top warm clafoutis with ricotta mixture and tangerine sections.

VARIATION: Cranberry-Pear ClafoutisUse 1 cup chopped peeled ripe Anjou pear in place of cherries. Omit almond extract. Skip the ricotta; garnish with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, 1 ounce crumbled blue cheese, and ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts.

SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 clafoutis piece, 1½ teaspoons blue cheese, and 1½ teaspoons walnuts)CALORIES 232; FAT 11.1g (sat 5.1g, mono 2.9g, poly 2.4g); PROTEIN 6g; CARB 28g; FIBER 2g; CHOL 92mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 138mg; CALC 80mg


Keith’s first Cooking Light cookbook, Mad Delicious: The Science of Making Healthy Food Taste Amazing!, is a 2015 James Beard Foundation Book Award winner for Focus on Health.

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