Clafoutis à la Matt Johnson


My friend Matt Johnson stopped by to borrow a blow dryer to fix a window screen. (Yes, it’s actually a thing). As a thank you, Matt brought over homemade clafoutis. What is clafoutis? I didn’t know either until I took a bite of this decadent French pastry. The dessert is traditionally made with black cherries and placed in a shallow, buttered baking dish. It is then covered with a thick flan-like batter and topped with powdered sugar and butter. It’s served lukewarm and sometimes with cream.

Matt’s been baking all winter in part due to Covid “free time” and I’ve been sampling his delicious and ambitious creations each Sunday at our winter swim meet-up organized by @seachanges.* From korvapuusti to pavlova to decorated lobster cookies, Matt’s desserts have no boundaries.

I’m intrigued (and slightly jealous) by his baking skills because I’m not good at baking. I try here and there but I find it a bit stressful and a little annoying to worry about following the directions exactly. Why should I force myself if it’s not enjoyable to me? And I have Matt’s homemade treats to eat, so why bother…


Clafoutis à la  Matt Johnson

2 tablespoons butter
½ – 1 pound blueberries (about one layer in baking dish)
2 oz slivered almonds
⅔ cup sugar
3 eggs
½ flour
1 ¼ cup milk
Pinch of salt

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Butter shallow baking dish. Arrange berries. Cut the surface down to a single layer. Add almonds. Whisk together ½ cup sugar, salt, eggs. Whisk in flour, add milk. Pour mixture over the berries. Sprinkle ¼ cup sugar over the surface. Dot with butter. Bake for 40 minutes until golden.

Recipe adapted from A Provincial Table By Richard Olney

Matt’s version was rich and sweet with a bitter berry overtone. The battered crust had a lovely texture which is a nice contrast to the filling. The taste of egg and butter makes a perfect sweet and savory breakfast. You can experiment with different types of berries and stone fruits. Matt tells me this is an easy baking recipe and so, I think I’ll have to give baking another go because I want more clafoutis!

Additionally being a French dessert, this automatically feels fancy and impressive. Clafoutis is a  “wow-factor” pastry to serve at a gathering or to drop off to a neighbor.

Follow me in the kitchen on IG @theglorifiedtomato

*Artist Riitta Ikonen is the organizer of Sea Changes, the Rockaway winter swim initiative I participated in. Sea Changes is part of a global program curated by FLOCK to connect friends, family, community and strangers during Covid times. For more info click here.

tagged in fish, recipes, rockaway