Based on Alice Water’s recipe for Cherry Clafoutis, this summer fruits cake is utterly transporting!
Similar to a chiffon cake yet baked atop a bed of just cooked fruit, this is a nice alternative to traditional custard-like clafoutis.
About the Ingredients
I’ve used corn flour here in the recipe, but you can experiment and try other gluten free flours as desired. Almond flour will likely make the cake denser and chewier, as will coconut flour (make denser). While I love almond flour, as a migraneur nuts are one of my beloved yet feared triggers. I have to be very careful with the frequency and quantity of nuts I ingest, so as to not instigate a cycle.
Cornmeal tonifies the Qi, strengthens the Stomach and Spleen, benefits the Heart, and stimulates the flow of bile.
Cherries are warm and sweet, they benefit the skin and overall body, they are rejuvenating, strengthen the Spleen, stimulate the appetite and quench thirst while regenerating fluids.
Plums are slightly warming, sweet and sour. They stimulate the appetite and aid digestion, regulate body fluids and stop thirst, they soothe the Liver (something we all need right now!), and move Qi.
Lemon zest regulates Qi, benefit the Liver and harmonize the Stomach; they are cool and sour.
Cinnamon, while hot and pungent, is also sweet, strengthens the Stomach and warms coldness in the body. If you have been drinking a lot of iced drinks, raw foods and smoothies, or food otherwise straight from the fridge/freezer, you may have a bit of coldness in your digestive system (especially if when you go outside in the heat, you feel worse rather than better).
Eggs are cool and sweet; they nourish the Yin and tonify the Blood.
Before you get started
- Move rack to top third of oven, then preheat oven to 375F.
- This recipe requires beating egg whites, if you have a stand or hand-held electric mixer, your arms will thank you.
- You’ll also need a baking dish that is approximately 9″ in circumference (or thereabouts if you are making a rectangular cake).
- Read through the recipe before beginning, as I do not have a master ingredient list, but one that’s broken into ingredients by steps. I’m experimenting with this style of recipe writing – if you love it, hate it, or have other comments about it, please comment below or email me.
Here we go!
What you’ll need…
540g summer fruits (in this recipe, I used half plums and half cherries – no need to pit unless your eating experience will be less enjoyable by spitting the pits/stones out)
1/3c maple syrup (use more or less according to your tastes, and the sweetness of the fruit.)
2TB coconut oil (or butter if you tolerate dairy)
Zest of 1 lemon
Combine in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the juices are thickened. If you want thicker juices, cook longer, if you want more of a syrup (like what I have pictured), cook for about 15 minutes.
Once done, pour into a 9” baking dish, set aside.
What you’ll need…
3 egg whites
2TB vanilla sugar (or regular sugar)
1 pinch salt
Place egg whites and salt in mixer with whisk attachment, beat on low until foamy then slowly add the sugar. Beat on medium until peaks form. (Note: the recipe says soft peaks, but I like a stronger peak – it should just bent over when you pull the whisk out for testing. Do not beat until the egg whites are dry, this means they are overbeaten and beyond use.)
What you’ll need…
3 egg yolks
1TB vanilla sugar (or regular sugar)
3TB corn flour (or other flour of your choice)
1/3 coconut cream (I use Chaokoh brand, you can also use heavy cream)
1tsp almond extract (I like using DiSarrono)
1tsp vanilla extract (I use my own vanilla infused rum!)
Whisk yolks with sugar until the yolks are light and creamy, then add the remaining ingredients. Whisk until smooth.
Carefully fold the yolks into the whites. (You can sacrifice a small amount of the whites into the yolk mixture, then
carefully fold that into the remaining whites, if you are concerned about retaining enough of the air in the egg whites.)
I pour all of the yolk batter into the whites, then gently fold until just barely blended. You want to keep as much air in this batter as possible, otherwise you won’t get the chiffon-like texture. Something that my macaron days taught me: when in doubt, resist folding more!
Gently pour batter over the fruit, do your best to smoothe the top of the batter and place in the oven for about 20 mins. It should be well-browned by the time you take it out, leave it in for a bit longer if you need to.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Dust with powdered sugar* before serving.
Serve and enjoy!
This serves 6, and should be stored in the fridge if you have any leftover.
Confession: Last time I made this, I messed up… I ended up whipping the egg whites with all of the sugar. Lo and behold, I liked it so much I altered the recipe to accommodate this mistake! Moral of the story: even if you mess up, keep going! You never know what delights may greet you at the other end of the (oven) door.
*I measured 1TB of powdered sugar for dusting and used maybe half of it here.
Sources and References:
Alice Waters – Chez Panisse Cookbook; Maoshing Ni and Cathy McNease – The Tao of Nutrition