Friday, July 31, 2015

Blueberry Clafoutis

Slice of Blueberry Clafoutis with Whipped Cream
Blueberry Heaven

Recipe adapted from Crumbles and Cobblers

Clafoutis! Who knew that such an impressive French dessert would be so fast and easy to make? Essentially, clafoutis is custard-like batter surrounding seasonal fruit. Cherries are typically used in this classic dish, but the British cookbook Crumbles and Cobblers inspired me to use the last of this season’s blueberries. Clafoutis can be served warm or at room temperature. In addition to dessert, some cooks serve clafoutis for brunch or luncheon. And I’ve noticed that refrigerated leftovers make a dandy breakfast.

Whole Clafoutis with One Slice Removed
Six Generous Servings
There are several schools of thought on how to mix the batter. The trick is to completely incorporate the flour so there are no lumps. I borrowed my method from Mark Bittman, beating the eggs with sugar, whisking in the flour, then stirring in the liquids and salt. Opinions vary on whether to put the fruit or the batter into the baking pan first. Since blueberries are small, I opted to drop them in afterwards. It seemed that the berries would be more evenly distributed if the batter didn’t swoosh them around when poured in afterward But perhaps it doesn’t matter. This is rather an informal dessert, after all.

According to my research, the proper French way to pronounce clafoutis is kla-foo-TEE. However, no one in the US seems to say it this way. Instead, kla-FOO-tee is popular here. In any case, remember to add the final “s” when you write it—just don’t pronounce it. And don’t follow the example of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and eliminate the "s."  Anglicizing the name of a French classic is just wrong!

Yet Another Slice of Clafoutis
Second Slice
Blueberry Clafoutis
serves ~6

~1½ tbsp. butter
1 lb. blueberries
¼ - ½ tsp. lemon zest (small lemon)
3 eggs
½ cup sugar
½ cup flour
1 cup half-and-half or whole milk
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
~ 2 - 3 tbsp. powdered sugar
whipped cream or yogurt, optional garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Generously grease a 9 – 10 inch baking pan or pie plate with butter. Set aside.

Toss washed and dried blueberries with lemon zest. Set aside.

Beat eggs until light and fluffy. Whisk in sugar until dissolved. Mixture should be light and foamy.  Slowly whisk in flour until thick and smooth (no lumps).

Beat half-and-half or milk, vanilla, and salt into the egg mixture.

Pour egg mixture into greased baking pan. Add blueberries to batter, distributing evenly. Blueberries will sink to the bottom.

Bake at 375 degrees F. until golden and puffed around the edges, about 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and immediately sift powdered sugar over the top until it looks decorative. Let rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve, with additional powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream or yogurt if desired. May also be cooled to room temperature before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Whole Clafoutis
The Big Picture

Closeup of Clafoutis Slice
The Fine Details

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