The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) is one of the largest culinary schools in the world, offering both professional and recreational programs in New York City. Here, Chef Jenny McCoy of ICE’s School of Pastry & Baking Arts shares with PEOPLE her recipe for summer fruit clafoutis — a crowd-pleaser of a dessert that highlights the season’s best produce and is as tasty as it is simple.
If you are not familiar with clafoutis, please make yourself acquainted. It is one of the easiest desserts to make, not to mention an absolute showstopper.
Like a soufflé, this dessert puffs to great heights and begins to deflate moments after being removed from the oven. However, unlike a soufflé, clafoutis batter is super simple to make — just whisk the ingredients together and voila! There is no need to fret over under-whipped egg whites or over-folded batter. Clafoutis is made with whole eggs and yolks, plus some flour to bind the batter, making it foolproof to execute.
Summer is the perfect season for tucking into a freshly baked clafoutis. Many clafoutis recipes, particularly at this time of year, highlight cherries. This is because the clafoutis was first created in Limousin, France, a region celebrated for its black cherries. While I do love the classic cherry clafoutis, I find that clafoutis is even better suited for fruits with more tart and acidic qualities, like raspberries, blackberries, plums and apricots. I also enjoy topping it with chopped nuts and turbinado sugar, to give it a crunch to contrast its soft and delicate texture.
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And don’t desert this fruity dessert after summer passes — it’s glorious at any time of year, particularly in the autumn when baked with thinly sliced Granny Smith apples or cranberries.
Summer Fruit Clafoutis
Softened unsalted butter and sugar (for the ramekins)
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 pinches salt
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
¾ cup heavy cream
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 cups fresh fruit, such as berries or sliced stone fruit
2 tbsp. turbinado sugar
¼ cup chopped pistachios, optional
1. Place a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350° F. Lightly butter and sugar a 10-inch round cast iron pan.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and salt together. Add the eggs, yolks, cream and lemon zest and continue to whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk in the melted butter.
3. Pour the batter into the pan, evenly scatter the fruit over the top of the batter, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar and pistachios.
4. Bake until puffed, set in the center and light golden brown (about 20 to 25 minutes). Serve warm, and with ice cream if desired.
Want more recipes from ICE and PEOPLE? Click here to get pro tips for making homemade pizza, three ways to use a watermelon and more. Want to take your cooking up a notch? Get more information about ICE’s award-winning career programs here.