Sunday, August 1, 2010
Clafouti: Pick your fruit!
lafouti is something I've been meaning to make for some time, what with all the fresh fruit around... but ice cream has been winning out every time I head for dessert. I know, not a bad exchange. Finally, yesterday, after I'd gone to all the effort of turning the oven on (I know, stop it with the overachieving, seriously) I thought I might as well...
And oh how glad I am to have done it. While the dish doesn't really fit into the cake mold at all, it certainly fulfills my custard needs quite nicely. I have made a clafouti before, years ago--I think with raspberries--and had really enjoyed it. Why it's been maybe 10 years between efforts, I really can't say. It will not be 10 years until I make it again. (Learning moment: apparently when you make clafouti with anything other than cherries--the traditional fruit--it's called flaugnarde. Yeah, not a pretty sounding word. I'm sticking with clafouti, especially since every single recipe I've ever seen for the dish calls it that.)
Like the cobbler, this recipe can work with almost any fruit. I dare you to think of one (OK, kiwi just came to mind) that WON'T work. I've seen recipes for cherry of course, pear, pineapple, apple, berry, fig, apricot...
I can't give credit for this recipe to any one site, since the source on the blog I found it on wasn't correct. Regardless, there are other fabulous takes on this recipe (variations abound) here, here and here. I think I want to try them all!
1/2 stick butter, melted, plus more for baking dish
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for baking dish
1 pound fresh fruit, whatever your pleasure
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 lemon, zested
Ice cream or whipped cream, for garnish
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Generously butter and flour a 7 by 5-inch baking dish or 6 individual, wide, flat gratin dishes. (I sprayed a 9-inch glass pie plate with non-stick spray. Worked great.)
Add the fruit, in an even layer, to the prepared baking dish. I chose a combination of apricots and blueberries, which turned out lovely. The apricots were just on the cusp of ripe so they held together great, and the blueberries were a nice sweet counterpart to the tang of the apricots.
In the bowl of a food processor, add the almonds, sugar, flour and salt and pulse until they are coarsely chopped. In a large bowl, using a whisk, combine the eggs, milk, vanilla and lemon zest until they are homogeneous. Add in the melted butter and the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour over the cherries.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the center is set and the top is golden brown.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve with ice cream or whipped cream or both.
I served mine warm and plain, almost right out of the oven--I don't really need anything messing with the custard, and it was heavenly. And, I have to say it was even better cold this morning for breakfast.
The extra yum in this recipe is the ground up almonds. It really imparts a frangipane quality to the custard that is lovely.
See all that glorious custard and fruit? Heaven.