Clafouti (or clafoutis) is a French batter cake, a specialty of the Limousin region, traditionally made with black cherries but also sometimes with prunes, apples, or other fruits. Our version is from Sally Schmitt (of French Laundry fame) who suggested adding apple cider syrup to the apple juices to sauce the clafouti.
FOR THE BATTER:
1 cup milk or heavy cream
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 tsp. salt
FOR THE APPLES:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tsp. sugar
2–3 tbsp. brandy
1. For the batter: Preheat oven to 400°. Put milk, eggs, 6 tbsp. of the butter, vanilla, flour, sugar, and salt into a blender, blend until smooth, and set aside. Grease a 10" pie plate with remaining butter, then set in oven to heat.
2. For the apples: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and brandy and cook until apples are glazed and warm, about 5 minutes.
3. Remove pie plate from oven and immediately pour in half the batter. Arrange warm apple slices over batter, reserving juices, then pour remaining batter over apples. Sprinkle remaining sugar and a little cinnamon over batter and bake until clafouti is golden and set in the center, 25–30 minutes. Drizzle with warmed reserved apple juices.