A few days ago while shopping, I saw these fuzzy peachy looking fruits with firm flesh. I had never noticed them before but they looked wonderful. So I bought a few and brought them home. The sign in the store read “Pfisich Aprikosen” (“peach apricots”), so I did a bit of research and discovered that they are actually called “percoches” and are indeed a cross between a peach and an apricot. They do look like giant apricots because of their color and because the peel of the fruit feels like an apricot but, at the same time, the fruits have the size of peaches. The flesh of the “percoches” is firm and less juicy than the flesh of regular peaches, they taste sweet and a bit tart at the same time.
For purposes of comparison, I put some apricots next to the “percoches”. A really interesting fruit and a nice choice if you are looking for something a bit different from the usual peaches, nectarines or apricots.
After the taste test, the next question was what to do with these fruits other than eating them raw, of course. The search proved to be a bit more time consuming than I had anticipated but I finally came across the inspiration for this dessert on an Italian blog. I guess somebody out there thought it was time for me to finally improve my Italian language skills again…it has been a while since I took these classes…In any event, it seems that these fruits grow in Italy and there are very few recipes that use “percoches” as a main ingredient. But this dessert is wonderful. It smells great, it tastes delicious, it has a rustic appeal and it is easy to prepare. So it will be a French recipe for some Italian fruits and I like it!
While by tradition, a clafoutis is a rustic French baked dessert with a custard-like batter similar to a pancake batter and specifically made with black cherries, you can create many clafoutis variations called “Flaungardes,” which include other fruits such as plums, prunes, blueberries, rhubarb or apples. But since the talented Italian baker that inspired this recipe called her dessert " Clafoutis di Percoche", I decided to keep the title, and besides, I believe that "Flaungardes" is not a commonly used expression.
(as inspired by an Italian recipe from “cosacucino”)
1200 grams (about 2.5 pounds ) percoche, sliced but not peeled (about five fruits – you can also use peaches, nectarines or apricots in this recipe)
200 ml (7/8 cup = one cup minus 2 1/2 tbsp) whole milk, room temperature
400 ml (1.7 cups = two cups minus 5 tbsp ) half and half
6 eggs (L)
200 grams superfine sugar (7 ounces)
1 package of pure vanilla sugar or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
40 grams (1.5 onces) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled and some more for greasing the ovenproof dish
powdered sugar (optional)
1. Mix together the milk, the half and half, the eggs, the sugar, vanilla, the salt and the melted butter.
2. Butter an ovenproof baking dish or a cast iron pan (rather “lavishly”).
2. Pour the batter in the prepared 10 cup baking dish or pan (I used a large dish and doubled the original recipe) but you can use a smaller dish and half the recipe).
3. Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) for about 45 minutes to an hour.
6. The clafoutis is done when it is puffed and golden and a small knife plunged in the center comes out clean.
Serve while still warm with a dusting of powdered sugar if you wish and some lightly whipped cream, crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.
"Uno non può pensare bene,
se non ha mangiato bene."