August 22, 2011
This week isn't so much a "tour" of traveling, but rather a tour of the pallet.
Just thought I’d post some pictures of the Clafoutis I made last week. They were delicious, and very easy to make. I had seen a photo of a beautiful dessert made from fresh Michigan blueberries that were in season. A friend of mine posted it on her Facebook page. She even posted a link to a blog that had numerous recipes for Clafoutis.
|Fresh Peach and Blueberry Clafoutis|
By the way, if you are a dummy like me, and you don’t know how to pronounce this word, here is the correct phonetically spelled, hyphenated and accented pronunciation instructions:
Now there, wasn’t that easy? I had never heard of this delicious custardy dessert. When my friend Amy gave me This Link.
The blog itself, Away To Garden, is great if you are looking for inspiration and topics about all things that pertain to gardening, from preparing the soil and planting the seeds, right on through making something to eat with the harvest and beyond.
|The Blueberry Clafoutis close up and personal|
This particular recipe comes from Martha Stewart. Other recipes and variations of the Clafoutis batter are listed as well, I made mine with Martha’s basic recipe, but I can see some variations to cut back on sugar and fat. My next batch will use Greek non-fat plain yogurt. I might skimp on the sugar or try a more natural sugar/sweetener. The fruit has plenty of built-in sugar as it is.
I made two. One to devour immediately at home and the other to bring to the motorcycle rally I attended with Mrs. Spadoman over the weekend. I was to meet a friend there and she has a thing for pie. Well, the Clafoutis isn’t really a pie, but it is baked in a large pie pan. So, in my twisted way of thinking, it is a pie, of sorts.
|Fresh Michigan Blueberries, YUM!|
Besides, as I was schooled, the acronym PIE stands for Pie Is an Excuse. You see, a group of Triumph motorcycle riders meet occasionally for a ride. These rides are called PIE rides. WE ride beautiful back country and scenic area roads in Wisconsin and the neighboring states, and stop and enjoy lunch together. Pie is usually ordered for dessert, but the real reason to do this is to ride our motorcycles. So, Pie Is an Excuse.
Back to the Clafoutis. I made one with all fresh blueberries. The other, I sliced fresh peaches and added blueberries to them and had a combination Peach/Blueberry affair that tasted heavenly.
|These drippings added to the aroma in the kitchen while baking|
I can see the use of plums, apricots and even strawberries. Any kind of fruit will work I believe. Traditionally, Clafoutis is made with fresh cherries. The Italian prune plums will be in season very soon. I will try one with those as soon as I find some at the market.
Here’s the author's adaptation of the Martha Stewart basic recipe. It’s quite simple:
½ cup sugar (reserve 1 Tbsp. to dust baking dish)
¾ cup milk
¼ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
In a blender, combine the ingredients, and blend on high for 1 minute, scraping the sides once midway.
Into a 9-inch glass pie dish or a fluted porcelain tart dish that has been buttered first and dusted with the reserved 1 Tablespoon of sugar, pour half the batter.
Arrange 3 cups of sliced fruit of your choice in the partly filled pan. Pour on the remaining batter and bake at 350 until the top puffs and starts to turn golden-brown, about 45-60 minutes.
Note: Everyone’s clafoutis custard is a little different (just as is everyone’s pancake batter or pie crust, though the basics are the same). Martha even has more than one on her site. For example, Mark Bittman, writer for the New York Times’ Food Section Diner’s Journal Blog, recommends ½ cup sugar, 3 eggs, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, ¾ cup heavy cream OR plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of salt). You may like more fruit or more custard on balance. Experiment, and enjoy.
If you make one, let me know how it turned out and how you liked it. If you have been making these for years, let me know that I’ve just arrived in the 21st Century. I won't mind, really, I will never get too old to learn.
I’m glad I happened on this easy to fix recipe. I’m grateful for my friend Amy who is quite an eclectic and resourceful human being. I admire her way of life. She hails from Ashland, WI. We made friends with her when we lived up there. Some friendships have a way of holding on. Even though we moved far away and don’t get to see everyone we knew and hung around with when we get up that way to visit the Great Lake Superior, when we do get to run into Amy, she always has hugs and a great smile to share with us.
I thank her for turning me on to Clafoutis. A quick and easy way to make dessert. Mrs. Spadoman was wondering where the whipped cream was when we cut into the peach blueberry concoction at the picnic table in the campground at the rally. That does sound like a nice touch, or just serve it in a bowl and drench it with ½ and ½. Sorry Mel, it's not gluten free. But I wonder if it would be if you used a gluten free flour? Let me know, will ya Mel?