“Lightened Up” Almond Berry Clafouti

Almond Berry Clafouti-big
Almond Berry Clafouti (w/o confectioner’s sugar)

So I’m almost finished the second week of my new weight loss plan. Many of you know that I enjoy posting recipes on occasion, so I thought I’d start posting some diet-friendly or “lightened up” ones, too. I’ve enjoyed a lot of new creations these past several days, as well as old ones I remember from the past.

Clafouti cherry
Traditional Cherry Clafouti

So many “diet” desserts beyond fresh fruit are primarily soft puddings, gelatins, or shakes/smoothies. They’re great, but I do occasionally yearn for something more “pie or cake-like”. Sure they sell diet-versions of desserts at the store, but they’re just not homemade and often contain ingredients that some prefer not to eat. Years ago I discovered a dessert called clafouti. Are you familiar with clafouti? Clafouti is originally a French dessert, made in a pie-like dish with a sort of flan-like batter with berries or cherries baked in. Cherries are the traditional fruit choice, but really any berry (or combination of berries) will do. I’d like to share one version I enjoy making. I usually use a combination of fresh medium strawberry halves, blueberries and/or blackberries. Given the low sugar in this particular recipe, if I wanted to use pitted cherries, I would probably choose sweet over sour.

When making clafouti, I recommend using fresh fruit and not frozen. I’ve tried using frozen cherries in the past, but it made the clafouti a bit soggy in the end. The following is based on a Weight Watchers recipe.

Almond Berry Clafouti

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray (to lightly coat pie dish)
  • 2 cups berries (halve medium-large strawberries) or sweet pitted cherries (halve large cherries)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup (150 g) low fat plain yogurt (I have only used regular, not Greek)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons (136 g) all-purpose (semi-fine) flour
  • ¼ cup (55 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (4.20 g) vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon (4.20 g) almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) lemon zest (Optional. Sometimes I add an extra 1/4 tsp almond extract instead.)
  • 1 pinch table salt
  • 3 Tablespoons (22 g) sliced almonds (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Coat a 9-inch (or 23 cm) ceramic or glass pie plate with cooking spray.

In a bowl, toss berries or cherries with cornstarch, and then spread in an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pie plate.

Beat or whisk together all remaining ingredients, except flour, nuts and powdered sugar. Then slowly beat/whisk in flour, until very smooth. [A blender can also be used.] The batter will be thin. Pour the batter over the fruit and then sprinkle with optional almonds. Bake until the clafouti is puffy and golden, and a knife inserted in center comes out clean, 45-55 minutes.

Remove the clafouti from the oven and cool for at least 15 minutes on a rack. The clafouti’s center will sink/drop. Dust with optional powdered sugar and slice into 8 servings. It can be served warm or at room temperature. Clafouti’s interior consistency is like that of a very thick sliceable custard, but with a thin crust all around.

Approximate per serving nutrition information (including optional ingredients) using regular low-fat plain yogurt, 1 cup halved strawberries and 1 cup mix of blueberries and blackberries (calculated by Myfitnesspal):

136 calories, 4.1 g fat (0.8 g saturated fat), 20.8 g carbohydrates, 5.4 g protein, 10.7 g sugar, 1.5 g dietary fiber, 47.5 mg sodium, 71.0 mg cholesterol

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