In the Roussillon region of France, tapas can spill over from appetizer to dessert in a series of little sweet offerings at the end of a meal. One favorite is clafoutis, a batter pudding made in little dishes with seasonal fruits such as cherries, apricots, or plums, with apples in winter. My favorite is juicy red berries, both sweet and tart. I aim for a mixture of raspberries and strawberries, with a few blackberries or blueberries added for contrast of color. Best served hot from the oven, clafoutis can be prepared ahead and baked at the last minute.  A sprinkling of sweet wine on the hot pudding adds an appealing kick, but orange juice can be substituted. Sweet Banyuls red wine, or white Rivesaltes are Roussillon specialties, but Port is also delicious.

  • 1 pound mixed berries
  • 3 tablespoons sweet red or white wine, or orange juice
  • Confectioners? sugar, for sprinkling

Batter

  • ¼ cup sugar, more for tart fruits
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 cup milk

1½-quart baking dish or four 6 to 7-inch individual dishes

1. Butter the baking dish(es) and sprinkle generously with sugar, turning and tilting to form an even coating. Hull the strawberries and halve or quarter them if large. Mix berries and spread them in the dish(es). For batter, whisk eggs and sugar in a bowl until frothy, 1-2 minutes. Stir in cornstarch and salt just until smooth. Stir in cream and milk. Fruit and batter may be prepared up to 2 hours before baking; keep them covered at room temperature.

2. Heat oven to 375°F/190°C. Stir batter to recombine it and strain over the fruit. Bake in the oven until browned and just set, 50-60 minutes (25-30 minutes for individual dishes). Let cool 5-10 minutes, then sprinkle with sweet wine or juice. Dust generously with confectioners? sugar and serve warm. Serves 4-6.

Photo Credit:  Christine Matsuda