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+ servings
French Custard Cake with Peaches from Polina Chesnakova's 'Everyday Cake'
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
55 mins
Chilling time
1 hr

Headnote and recipe reprinted with permission from Everyday Cake by Polina Chesnakova; copyright 2022 from Sasquatch Books.

France has a myriad of fruit-baked-in-custard cakes: clafoutis with cherries, far normand with apples, flaugnarde with pears, and far breton with plumped prunes or other dried fruit. This custard cake is none of these, but certainly inspired by all. The rich, booze-spiked batter comes together in seconds in a blender and lends itself to being baked year-round with any seasonal fruit – or vegetable, in the case of rhubarb – you might have on hand, though do avoid anything too juicy or overly ripe. It's an effortless dessert that will impress any guest. So very French!

Recipe Type: Dessert
Keyword: custard cake
Makes: 8 servings
Author: Polina Chesnakova, from 'Everyday Cake'
  • 3/4 cup (100 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (135 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup (235 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (235 ml) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons brandy, cognac, rum, kirsch, calvados, or other eau-de-vie
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds (about 3 cups) cherries, fresh berries, rhubarb, plums, peaches, apples, or pears
  • Unsalted butter, for greasing
  • Granulated sugar, for dusting and topping
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
  1. In a blender, blend all of the ingredients on medium speed until the batter is completely smooth and lump-free, 20 - 45 seconds depending on your blender. Alternatively, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the cream, milk, brandy, and vanilla. Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or in an airtight container for up to three days.

  2. Meanwhile, prep your chosen fruit:pit cherries; trim and cut rhubarb into 1-inch pieces and toss with 1 - 2 tablespoons sugar; pit and thickly slice plums or peaches. If using apples or pears, prep and cook according to instructions in the notes below. You will need 3 cups prepped fruit for the cake.
  3. To assemble, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a deep 2-quart baking dish – such as one 11 by 7 inches or a 9-inch square – and lightly coat with granulated sugar. Tap out any excess.
  4. Stir the batter to reincorporate any flour that has settled on the bottom. Arrange the fruit in an even layer in the baking dish, and if using apples or pears, reserve some for the top. Slowly pour the batter over the fruit, making sure not to disturb it too much. Top with the remaining fruit and sprinkle evenly with 3 tablespoons granulated sugar.
  5. Bake until the cake puffs up, is a nice golden color, and a tester inserted into the center comes out relatively clean, 55 - 70 minutes. Don't be alarmed if the cake sinks as it cools – this is normal. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm or at room temperature. This cake is best the day it is baked but will keep well wrapped in the refrigerator for up to one day.
Recipe Notes

To use apples or pears: To prep apples or pears, peel, core, and slice them 1/8-inch thick. In a medium bowl. toss the slices with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fruit and cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften and release juices and the edges start to turn translucent, 3 - 5 minutes. The centers should still have a bit of crunch. Remove from the heat. Add 1/4 cup of whichever liquor you've used in the batter and toss to combine. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before proceeding with assembly.