Family trips to France always include my mother-in-law Bernadette's specialty — Clafoutis, a classic dessert from the south-central region of France where she grew up, Le Limousin. It is a cake that looks like a tart covered by fruits wrapped in a flan (confusing? it's really not fancy or complicated but the French say simply calling it a cake or tart isn't exactement correct). Traditionally made with unpitted cherries or prunes (abundant in that region), Clafoutis is absolutely delicious with peaches or apricots—or any of your favorite fruit.
I love this dessert so much that one day I (naively) asked for the recipe from my mother-in-law. She happily gave me a fairly legible handwritten version—albeit leaving out some vital information which resulted in disaster. I had to edit out a rant here about her doing it on purpose (sigh). Let's just say that I've since called it "Bernadette's Secret Recipe." To add insult to injury, she cooks wonderfully au pif (estimating quantities) which makes it impossible for me to learn exactly how to replicate her classic Clafoutis even if I'm right next to her when she makes it (sigh again).
Now when making Clafoutis, I use a recipe from a trusted friend, Mademoiselle Internet*. She delivered something much simpler—with fewer ingredients! It received 5 stars from my husband (smart man... he knows better) and best of all, my 7 year old son can tear through 3 slices in one sitting.
Has someone ever passed down to you a "secret" recipe —or pretend to ;)
* The recipe below is from a site called LetsCookFrench.com — which I found 6 years ago and unfortunately no longer exists.
Velvety Light Peach Clafoutis
1/2 Tbsp butter
5-6 sliced and pitted fresh peaches (or 32 oz. can of sliced peaches - drained)
1 can condensed milk
2 1/2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp vanilla
Powdered sugar (for dusting over finished Clafoutis)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Butter a 9 inch tart dish
Pour fruit into bottom of the tart dish
In a separate container - mix eggs, vanilla, flour and condensed milk
Pour the mix on top of the fruit
Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until inserted knife comes out fairly clean
To caramelize the top a bit, broil for a few minutes. Keep a eye on it!
Let it cool then sprinkle with powdered sugar