All summer long, fruits are the star of the market. They’re brilliantly colored, fabulously sweet, and, unlike in the winter months, these fruits weren’t flown in from abroad, which means that they’re not only friendlier to your carbon footprint but also more affordable. While there’s something to be said for preparing foods as simply as possible—in this case, blueberries and raspberries by the handful, or pears and apricots simply as they are—this sweet bounty often cries out to be used in a more special (and presentable) way.
The clafoutis, a rustic French dish, was invented in Limousin for the express purpose of gussying up the black cherries that were so bountiful in that region. The base of the dessert is a custardy cake that is light and airy hot out of the oven and rich and creamy when it cools. Either way, it is unbelievably tasty, and surprisingly easy to make.
To get you inspired, here are five recipes for clafoutis, from the traditional to the inventive:
Cherry Clafoutis by Lora Zarubin
This is the classic clafoutis made with cherries. The pits are kept in, as they’re said to impart a unique and subtle almond flavor.
Pear Clafoutis by Tom Fitzmorris
Sweet, ripe pears are a brilliant variation on clafoutis. Tom Fitzmorris suggests cutting the fruit into bite-sized chunks, but you could just as easily slice the pears into thin wedges and fan them out for a beautiful presentation.
Blueberry Orange Clafoutis by Hans Rueffert
Blueberries are a steal all summer long, and incorporating the sweet little fruits into a clafoutis is an ingenious way to make the most of the season’s blueberry abundance. A hint of orange adds sophistication.
Fresh Fig Clafoutis by Marie Simmons
A fresh fig tastes more like pure, rich honey than perhaps any other fruit. Sliced in half and displayed cut-side up, this is a delicious showstopper.
Cranberry-Walnut Clafoutis with Bourbon Whipped Cream by Suzanne Goin
If you’re looking to elevate your clafoutis from rustic to elegant, this cranberry and walnut-studded version is the way to go. The topping of bourbon whipped cream doesn’t hurt either.