This is the best!
(Disclaimer: the above picture was not taken in Jan's mid-western kitchen. By the time I remembered my camera, the clafoutis I baked was gone. I knew you didn't want to see a picture of an empty pie plate...)
What is clafoutis? It’s a traditional French custard cake that originated in the Limousin region. Traditionally made with black (sweet) cherries, including the pits, there are almost as many versions of clafoutis as there are cooks!
By the way, clafoutis is pronounced “cluh-foo-tee”. Sometimes written with an “s” on the end, and sometimes not, both spelling variations are pronounced the same way. It is a French word, after all.
While searching for a way to use the pears, I ran across this recipe on Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman site: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/11/pear-clafouti-three-ways/
Now, you can go over there and read about her adventures with clafoutis (but be sure to come back!), or you can stay here for a while and get the scoop on what I’ve done to make it even easier - - and some would say better :)
This time I had apricots. I bought 25 pounds of apricots last week (man, I love those things!). I made apricot jam, apricot fruit leather, apricot slices with sugar, apricots straight up…and then I remembered the Pear Clafouti from last year. What about Apricot Clafoutis?
So I looked for some recipes, and sure enough, I found them. But some of them got pretty complex, and around here we’re all about getting the best food to our mouths with the least trouble, right?
I ended up with the recipe I used last year (the Pioneer Woman’s version, revised by yours truly), and it was FABULOUS!
So here’s the recipe:
4 fresh apricots
1 teaspoon ginger
2 Tablespoons sugar
¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
3 whole eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups milk, or a milk/cream blend to make 2 cups
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease a 10” pie plate with butter. Yes, you can use cooking spray, but the butter adds a touch of flavor…or maybe I’ve watched too much Paula Deen since my daughter moved home!
Slice each apricot into 6-8 slices, depending on the size of the fruit, and discard the pit. Arrange the slices in a pinwheel design in a pie dish. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar and the ginger over the top.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a larger bowl, whisk the eggs slightly, then whisk in sugar. Whisk in flour mixture, and then add milk, and vanilla. Whisk all together until smooth. Pour over the top of the apricots.
Bake for 45 minutes. You’ll know the clafoutis is done if it’s puffed up and if the center no longer jiggles like liquid when you move the dish.
Remove the clafoutis from the oven and let it cool for at least 10 minutes (the puffiness will collapse – it’s supposed to!).
Serve warm or cold, as a brunch dish or a dessert. You can sprinkle the top with powdered sugar and cinnamon or nutmeg before serving. Some people serve it with whipped cream, but I haven’t tried it that way. Yet.
One of the beauties of this dish is that you can substitute almost any fruit – pears, peaches, sweet cherries, sour cherries (use more sugar), blueberries, blackberries, apples…if you can make a pie out of it, you can make clafoutis out of it!
When my husband was still a wet-behind-the-ears high school kid, he was talking with his grandfather, who had been a widower for about two years. Grandpa said, "You know, tomorrow it will be sixty years since your grandmother and I got married. That's a long time." Then Grandpa looked at my husband and said, "But not nearly long enough."
Thirty years seems like a long time - but it really isn't. Not when you spend that time with your best friend.
Enjoy your chatting! I'll be enjoying our cabin on a ranch and the Wyoming/Montana scenery!
See you next week :)