Clafoutis, a sweet dessert of cooked fruit and pancake batter, is usually made with cherries, but it’s also excellent with pears, plums, or apples. The instructions below are based on a Julia Child recipe. Clafoutis tastes best right out of the oven, but I sometimes gently reheat it for breakfast and add a splash of cream–delicious.
5 medium-size to large eating apples
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing dish
1/4 cup dark rum or Calvados
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1-1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
Garnishes: cinnamon, sugar, whipped cream
Grease a 14x10-inch oval baking dish with butter. Peel and core apples; cut them lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Melt butter in a skillet, and sauté apple slices gently until slightly brown. Turn off the heat; add rum, cinnamon, and 1/3 cup sugar. Toss and let stand 30 minutes.
Put milk, remaining sugar, eggs, vanilla, and flour in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
Pour a thin layer of batter into the bottom of the baking dish, and bake just until batter firms. (It’ll be somewhat solid and dull-looking.) Spread apple mixture over batter; then pour in the rest of the batter. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for a little less than an hour. Clafoutis is done when it puffs and browns and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Sprinkle a mix of cinnamon and sugar over the top; serve with whipped cream.