As stone fruit and berries come into season, clafoutis becomes my dessert of choice for its easy preparation and amazing taste. Somewhere between a cake and a custard, a clafoutis has a magical array of flavors and textures that changes as you eat different parts of a slice.
While clafoutis is usually made with cherries, a basket of gorgeous cherry tomatoes at the market got me wondering if it would work as a savory dish. If you forgo the sugar and vanilla, the ingredients aren’t all that far off from a quiche or frittata, and with some fresh herbs and cheese, it seemed like it could make for a delightful brunch dish.
Well, I tried it, and it was glorious. The cheese melts on top to form a golden brown souffle-like crust, which gradually turns into a base of savory custard as you work your way towards the bottom. The sweet crimson and ochre tomatoes dotting the clafoutis provide juicy bursts of tart relief from the rich savory batter. Best of all, it only takes about five minutes of work before you pop your clafoutis into the oven; then, a little over half an hour later, you’ll be sitting down to a marvelous brunch!
Unlike most baked goods, the ratios don’t need to be exact, which is why you probably won’t need to measure anything after you’ve made this a few times. This also means there’s a lot of leeway for creative interpretation. Caramelized onions, garlic and camembert, or red bell peppers, feta and a little dill would be awesome combinations.
Cherry Tomato Clafoutis
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 8.5 ounces cherry tomatoes (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 ounce all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1.75 ounces Comté cheese, grated
- Move your oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F.
- Generously butter an 8" pie dish or cake pan and then add the cherry tomatoes evenly spaced.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, flour, thyme, salt and pepper until smooth and free of lumps.
- Slowly pour the mixture over the tomatoes, being careful not to clump the tomatoes together.
- Sprinkle with the cheese.
- Bake until puffy and golden brown (about 35-40 minutes).
- Slice and serve hot or at room temperature.
Tips/TechniquesI used a springform pan in the photos because it's all I had at the moment, but I don't recommend it as it will leak batter and make a mess in your oven.
Cook Time: 35-40 Minutes
Yield: 3-4 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.