This classic French dessert is a simple (yet elegant) way to enjoy summer blueberries
We’ve been enjoying sensational blueberries in our part of the world for the past several weeks. We eat them as snacks, mixed into salads, doused in cream—and of course baked into desserts.
Speaking of which, one of the best desserts we’ve made this year is Blueberry Flaugnarde, a classic French dish. It’s quick and easy to make, and the blueberries just sing with flavor.
Blueberry Flaugnarde is also reasonably light, so it won’t weigh you down during these last hot days of summer. And it’s good hot from the oven, chilled from the fridge, or at room temperature. Perfect for a Labor Day cookout, don’t you think?
Recipe: Blueberry Flaugnarde (Flan)
Flaugnarde is really just a fancy name for flan. When you make this dish, you simply cover the blueberries with a flavorful custard and bake. You might also see this dessert called a clafoutis—although technically that term is used only when the dish is made with black cherries.
This recipe is very similar to the Grape Flaugnarde we posted about a couple of years ago. Easy as that recipe was, this one is even more streamlined. And blueberries are even more delectable than grapes in this dish.
We like to serve flaugnarde with just a sprinkling of powdered sugar. But feel free to add whipped cream or ice cream—either adds sensational flavor.
Mrs. Kitchen Riffs is the baker in our household, and this is her creation. She adapted it from a recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle.
This dish requires about 15 minutes of active preparation time, plus about 45 minutes for baking.
The recipe yields 6 to 8 servings (depending on how generously you slice the flan). Well-wrapped leftovers keep in the refrigerator for a few days—and they’re great for breakfast!
- ~1 teaspoon butter (for buttering baking dish)
- 4 to 5 cups blueberries
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1¼ cups whole milk or 1 cup cream + ¼ cup water (you can substitute skim milk, but the custard won't be as luscious)
- 3 large eggs, preferably pasteurized
- 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- confectioner’s (powdered) sugar for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a pie plate or other baking dish that measures 10 or 11 inches across (see Notes).
- Wash the blueberries and drain them well. Pour the drained berries into a medium-sized mixing bowl and add the granulated sugar. Toss together until the berries are coated, then set aside.
- Place the milk (or cream and water mixture) and the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl, if using a hand mixer). Using the whisk attachment, beat the milk and eggs at medium speed until well mixed. Add the lemon extract and salt, then mix them in. Gradually add the flour; once it is becoming incorporated, beat at high speed until the mixture becomes smooth.
- Pour the berries into the prepared baking dish and spread them out evenly. Pour the batter over the berries and smooth with a spatula.
- Place the baking dish in the center of the oven (slide a rimmed baking sheet underneath to catch any drips that may bubble over). Bake the flan for about 45 minutes, until the top is puffing up and becoming browned. (The flan will probably be done at around 45 minutes, but set the timer for 40 minutes and start checking then.)
- You can serve this dish hot from the oven or allow it to cool to room temperature. Just before serving, sprinkle the flan with a garnish of powdered sugar.
- This dish works best (and looks prettiest) when baked in an attractive 10- or 11-inch shallow tart dish, especially the porcelain or earthenware types. But you can bake it in an ordinary pie pan, too.
- Or use individual ramekins or tartlet dishes. In that case, baking time may be a bit less.
- Eggs carry a slight (but real) risk of salmonella. So we suggest using pasteurized eggs for this recipe. Although it’s unlikely that the eggs you buy will be infected, why take the risk? Especially since it’s impossible to make a dish like this without tasting it.
- You can identify pasteurized eggs because they usually have a red “P” stamped on them.
- As noted above, when this dish is made with black cherries, it’s called a clafoutis. When made with other fruits, it’s called a flaugnarde (though we often just call it flan). You can make a flaugnarde with just about any fruit—we’ve done grapes and blueberries on the blog, but apples, peaches, pears, and plums also work well.
- When choosing blueberries for this dish, look for ones that are smooth, with a deep blue (indigo) color. Size has no bearing on quality.
- Fresh blueberries are covered with a silvery coating—it’s actually a protective epicuticular wax, called fruit bloom. (You see the same thing on some other fruits, such as plums.)
- You can store fresh blueberries in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they’ll keep for a few days. Don’t wash the berries before storing them; wash only when you’re ready to use them.
- You can substitute frozen blueberries for fresh in this recipe. Frozen blueberries are often quite high quality, and generally are a safer bet during the winter months, when “fresh” blueberries picked half a world away have to be flown in.
Blue Plate Special
“Wow, this is even better than Blueberry Buckle,” I said. “And I didn’t think there was anything better than Blueberry Buckle.”
“No doubt about it, this is a berry good dessert,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs.
“True blue,” I said.
“It will cheer you up,” said Mrs K R. “When you’re feeling blue.”
“Shall we stop talking a blue streak and have another piece of flan?” I asked.
“That suggestion came out of the blue,” said Mrs K R. “Not.”
Well, when it comes to this dish, you could say I’m a blue-ribbon eater.
You may also enjoy reading about:
Grape Flaugnarde (Flan)
Homemade Meringues with Strawberry Sauce
Lemon Cheesecake with Walnut Crust
Chocolate Fudge with Nutella
Walnut Roll Cake
No-Cook Fruit Fool
Easy Peach Cobbler
Or check out the index for more