Our Caramel Apple Clafoutis Recipe is one of the easiest most impressive desserts you’ll make all fall long. This pancake meets soufflé baked dessert is studded with brown butter caramel apples, plenty of warm fall spices and baked until brown on the outside and soft and custard-like on the inside. Oh, and it’s a cinch to throw together.
Caramel Apple Clafoutis Recipe
With fall on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about fall things. And I’m not talking about Pumpkin Spice Lattes, which are unfortunately, not for me. I’m talking about cozy soups, hearty pastas, and anything and everything apple.
While we have some, we aren’t known for our plethora of dessert recipes (I’m much more of an expert on the savory side of food), but we always manage to sneak in a few easy apple desserts (this 5-Ingredient Apple Crisp is a favorite). And not only are they all sort of effortless, but they are all elevated enough to be a dessert you can internally boast about.
Today, we’re really outdoing ourselves and whipping up a Caramel Apple Clafoutis Recipe.
This semi-sweet pancake meets soufflé is baked until perfectly puffed and brown on the outside, but soft and custard-like on the inside. The crowning jewels are the brown sugar and brown butter-studded apples studded throughout the clafoutis.
Our Apple Clafoutis recipe is sweet, but not too sweet. Indulgent, but light at the same time. And the perfect way to get your fall dessert fix without breaking a sweat.
We serve it with sweetened lightly whipped cream, but vanilla or caramel ice cream would also be delicious.
What is Clafoutis?
Bit first, let’s address the technicalities of what a clafoutis is. It sounds so fancy doesn’t it? Well, I’m happy to report, it’s not. All a clafoutis is, is basically an egg-heavy pancake meets souffle. Although I can say without hesitation that an apple clafoutis is infinitely better than a pancake and much easier to whip up than a souffle. A win for all!
The very thin batter is poured into a hot cast-iron skillet with a little bit of fat, sprinkled with your fruit of choice and baked until puffed and brown.
A classic clafoutis is traditionally French, and typically served with tart cherries or berries, but we’ve switched things up a bit to include apples. And honestly, you could really throw whatever fruit you want into the mix.
Ingredients in our Apple Clafoutis Recipe
Butter. Some clafoutis recipes are made with butter, some are not. Ours is, but the batter itself doesn’t include any. We first use the butter to cook the apples, and second, to coat the bottom of our pan so it doesn’t stick.
I ended up using salted butter, but unsalted butter will work just fine as well.
Apples. Whenever I’m baking I almost always use granny smith apples. They’re tart, but sweet, which I love. They also hold up really well when cooked and tend to keep their crisp texture even after cooking for a little while.
Sugar. For our clafoutis recipe, we use two different sugars -brown and white. We use brown sugar to create a caramel-like sauce for the apples, and then we use the white sugar in the batter for the clafoutis.
Spices. In sticking with the “fall” theme, we used hints of cinnamon, allspice and cardamom. I ran out of it, but a pinch of nutmeg would also be great.
Eggs. Because this is an egg-heavy dessert, you’ll need four large eggs. I always use organic, but any run-of-the-mill large egg works as well.
Milk. You’ll need whole milk here. I can’t vouch on if any kind of milk works, so stick to whole milk if you can.
Flour. Unlike pancakes which are flour-heavy, our apple clafoutis has very minimal flour in it. Just enough to give it a little bit of structure and puff up.
Let’s make this Apple Clafoutis Recipe!
If you don’t, you are going to start by adding your butter to a super hot cast-iron skillet. Let it melt over a high heat and once it starts to brown, start to swirl the pan. Swirl the pan until the butter turns a deep brown color and smells very nutty. Add the apples.
Cook the apples. Once you add the apples, toss them in the butter, and then add the brown sugar and a little bit of cinnamon, clove, and cardamom. Cook the apples for about 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. (They will cook longer in the batter in the oven,.)
Remove the apples from the pan and set aside. Rinse the pan clean with water and get all of the caramel out of the pan. We do this so the clafoutis doesn’t stick.
Heat the pan. Once the pan is clean. Add the rest of the butter to the pan and pop into the oven.
Blend the batter. While the skillet heats, add the eggs, milk, and sugar to a blender. Blend until smooth. Add the flour and spices. Pulse until blended.
Assemble! When the skillet is hot, pull it out and pour the batter into the skillet. Gently scatter half of the apples on top. Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.
Add the rest of the apple. After 10 minutes pull the apple clafoutis out of the oven and sprinkle the rest of the apples along with the juice over the clafoutis. Place back in the oven and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 18-20 minutes.
Serve! Serve warm out of the oven with whipped cream or ice cream.
How will I know when my apple clafoutis is done?
The apple clafoutis will be puffed and brown on the edges and soft on the inside. The very middle will look custard-like but be slightly brown.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- Don’t cook your apples too long. Because they will also cook in the oven, you only want to slightly soften the.
- Don’t worry, the batter will be thin! It’s supposed to be.
- Unlike a souffle that will fall when you open the oven, a clafoutis won’t, trust me.
- Make sure you adequately clean the bottom of the skillet after you cook the apples. If you leave any caramel on the bottom of the pan, you risk the clafoutis sticking.
- Don’t over blend the batter. Just pulse until everything is combined.
- We didn’t have nutmeg on hand at the time, but that would be great in place of ground cloves if you don’t have them,
Our favorite apple recipes
- Another great savory fall recipe is our Chicken with Fennel and Apple Brandy Cream Sauce. Extremely easy and full of fall flavors.
- Ok, so our Crispy Pork Chops with Apple Cider Cream Sauce don’t have actual apples in it, but they do have tons of apple flavor we adore. The perfect impressive dinner to serve to friends!
- If you’re looking for a more time intensive (but still easy!) apple dessert recipe, our Apple Cobbler with Sweet Cream is OUT OF THIS WORLD delicious. A must make for fall!
- 3 tbsp butter (salted or unsalted), divided
- 3 cups diced apple (peeled), about 4-5 apples
- 1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- whipped cream for serving
- Cast iron skillet
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat a 9-inch cast-iron skillet to a medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter melts and starts to turn brown on the edges, start to swirl the pan. Swirl the pan until the butter turns a deep brown color and smells nutty. It should take about 3-4 minutes.
- Once the butter is brown and smells nutty, add the apples. Coat in the butter. Add the brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook the apples in the butter and brown sugar. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the apples are slightly softened. Remove from the pan into a bowl along with all of the caramel sauce. Add in lemon zest. Stir to combine. Rinse the pan clean with water and wipe dry.
- Add the remaning tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Place in the oven while you make the batter.
- Add the milk, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla to a blender. Pulse until smooth. Add the flour, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, clove, and cardamom. Pulse until smooth.
- Pull the skilet out of the oven and swirl the pan to coat the bottom with the butter. Pour in the batter. Scatter 1/2 of the apples around the batter. Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Pull the skillet out and scatter the rest of the apples on top. Spoon the sauce around the batter. Place back in the oven and bake another 18-20 minutes until puffed and golden brown.
- Serve warm with whipped cream.