An apricot clafoutis is a baked dish that resembles a shallow fruity custard-like cake. The batter used to make clafoutis is similar to pancake batter, but rather than being cooked in a stove-top pan, this dish is baked. Apricot clafoutis can be prepared in a tart pan for group serving, or it can be baked in several smaller ramekins to make a single serving for each diner. This food can be served warm and fresh straight out of the oven, or it can be eaten cold, often as a breakfast. It can be eaten at restaurants, purchased pre-made in a grocery store, or made at home.
Ingredients used to make apricot clafoutis include apricots in a pancake-like batter of whole eggs, flour, and milk with butter. It also has seasonings to taste, often spices commonly used in sweet dishes, like cinnamon and nutmeg. This dish generally has more eggs than usual cakes, giving it a custard-like texture that often causes people to confuse it with a custard. True custards are typically made with egg yolks, not whole eggs like those used in the apricot clafoutis, and custards generally have less flour, if any at all.
One important part of making a good clafoutis is ensuring that the oven is at the proper temperature to cook the eggs smoothly. Cooking temperatures can vary at different altitudes. It is best to err on the side of lower heat when baking eggs. If heat is too low, the apricot clafoutis will take a bit more time too cook, but too-high heat can cause eggs to curdle and become unpleasantly lumpy, which cannot be reversed.
The most popular kinds of clafoutis are those with apricots, strawberries, and cherries, but this dish can be made with many types of fruit. It can also be made with a mixture of fruits. Fruits used to make a clafoutis can be fresh or dried. Fresh fruits are generally pitted and sliced, while dried fruits in a clafoutis are often included whole without pits.
Apricots are a particularly common type of fruit to use dried in this dish because they are so widely available in dried form. Using dried instead of fresh fruits for apricot clafoutis can change the flavor, but it can also create a more cohesive dish texture. This is because the dried apricot soaks up water from the surrounding batter, embedding it in the batter and causing it to better adhere to the fruit. The water in fresh fruit, on the other hand, tends to steam and repel the batter during cooking.