Friday, April 22, 2011

blueberry clafoutis




So, was anyone else a little over-zealous in their blueberry picking last summer, only to find that their freezer runneth over now, in April? It's hard to fathom having too much of such a good thing, but yesterday I discovered the last of my hard-earned berries teetering perilously close to freezer burn. I had to use them ASAP, but I wasn't in the mood for muffins, or pancakes, or scones, and the idea of throwing them into a smoothie seemed like sacrilege.

That's when I thought of clafoutis.


Clafoutis (kla-foo-tee), a rustic fruit dessert originated in central France, is usually described as a cross between a custard and a cake. Authentic clafoutis is made with cherries, but it adapts well to other fruits such as prunes, plums, berries and pears. I haven't baked clafoutis for many years, so I scoured my cookbooks and the internet to compare recipes. In the end, I avoided the more embellished iterations and settled on an appropriately simple one by Christopher Kimball that I tweaked only slightly. First, since I got it in my head I wanted a breakfast clafoutis, I reduced the sugar slightly (to 1/4 cup) with good results. If you're serving the clafoutis for dessert or your berries are on the tart side, I would use 1/3 cup sugar, as written. Also, I added a smidgen of almond extract and some lemon zest to complement the berries. Finally, I simplified things by mixing the batter in a blender, as is often done with clafoutis.

While the frozen berries seemed to work fine in this recipe, I'm sure fresh would be even better if you're willing to hold off a few months!

If you're a custard lover and appreciate uncomplicated fruit desserts, chances are good you'll like clafoutis.

Blueberry Clafoutis

1 teaspoon butter
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
12 ounces blueberries (about 1 pint)
3 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
confectioner's sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch round cake or pie pan with butter; dust bottom and sides with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Place blueberries in an even layer in bottom of pan.

Combine eggs, milk, sugar, flour, salt, vanilla, almond extract and lemon zest in blender; process until smooth.

Carefully and slowly pour batter over blueberries in pan. Try not to disrupt the berries too much.

Bake 40 - 50 minutes, or until clafoutis is puffed, golden brown and firm to the touch.

Allow to cool 15 - 20 minutes (clafoutis will deflate and firm up as it sits, making it much easier to slice cleanly). Dust the top with confectioner's sugar and serve warm.

Serves 6


(Recipe adapted from Christopher Kimball, Milford Daily News; August 5, 2003)

Notes:

*If you'd rather skip the almond extract and lemon zest, use 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla; or, at least use the lemon zest - it's really good.

*Don't even try to slice the clafoutis before it has had a chance to settle; you'll end up with a gloppy mess!

32 comments:

  1. Blueberry Clafouti where have you been all my life? We had a bumper crop of Blueberries last summer and the freezer tells the tale. Made the clafouti for breakfast yesterday and had it for lunch and after dinner. I love custard, I love fruit and I adore this recipe (so simple). Blueberries and lemon zest, a match made in heaven.

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  2. Ha! I did the same thing - ate some at every meal until it was gone. So glad you liked it as much as we did. Thanks for commenting!

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