Clafoutis (Claw-foo-tea)

Clafoutis sounds fancy, and it kinda is.  But it’s also easy and awesome. Score!

It’s basically a kind of custard baked over fruit, traditionally berries, ESPECIALLY traditionally cherries.  But here in the south of France it’s not cherry season, so that’s not gonna fly.  And since strawberries are red like cherries, so they’ll work right? Right.

Aren’t they just dahling?

I ran into a few obstacles making this recipe (but that’s what makes this blog fun, right?)  Those included: running out of flour, discovering no eggs were left and therefore asking a neighbor to help me out, having only 42% fat content fake-butter to work with, a lack of cornstarch, and of course my old arch-nemesis, though now in powder form…

Some day I will vanquish you.

But Patrick’s favorite dessert is clafoutis, so I had to give it the old college try.  In your version of this, please PLEASE use real sugar.  Or cane sugar!  Or even brown sugar could be interesting. Mmmm…brown sugar…

Here are all the ingredients measured out!  Flour, almond powder, almonds (cause I like them), and a bit of salt.  Always a bit of salt!

It’s pretty!  Food art.

You mix the dries, then add the wets!  Eggs one at a time, milk to thin it out, butter to add richness.  Please use full fat butter, and if you brown it that’s ok with me.

Then chop the strawberries and arrange them all pretty-like in a dish.  Like this!

Pour the batter over the strawberries.  They were meant to be together!

Bake til golden and if you stick a fork in it’s not wet.  We had a debate in my host family over whether to eat it hot or cold, but in the end we couldn’t wait and had it hot.  With fromage blanc, aka fluffy delicious yogurt. But Patrick put the leftovers in the fridge and I have a sneaking suspicion they won’t be there tomorrow morning…

Make this with vanilla!  Orange zest!  Almond extract!  Ground hazelnuts!  Pears!  Rhubarb!  Rum! Whatever tickles your fancy.

Here’s a pic of Asky, it’s been a while and I bet you’re wondering how he’s doing.  He’s so sleepy and cute!  Scroll down for more dog pictures!!

This recipe was feature on NPR, so you know it’s good.

Strawberry Clafoutis

Serves 6. (Or, in our case, 4)

1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter

1 1/2 pint (3 cups or 20 ounces) fresh strawberries

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup whole blanched almonds

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

A pinch of salt

3 large eggs

3/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon light rum (optional)

Confectioner’s sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8-inch-square glass or ceramic baking dish (or 6 1-cup ramekins for a more elegant presentation) with one tablespoon of the butter. Melt the remaining butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat (or in a small bowl set in the microwave for a few seconds) and set aside.

Rinse the strawberries under cool water — do not soak or they will loose some of their flavor. Drain in a colander for a few minutes, and gently pat dry with a clean dishtowel.

In a food processor or blender, mix together the flour and almonds until finely ground. Add the sugar, cornstarch and salt, and mix again. Crack in the eggs one by one, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Pour in the melted butter, milk and rum if using, and mix again until well blended. The mixture will be thin, like crepe batter.

Hull the strawberries, cut in halves or quarters depending on their size, and arrange in a single layer in the prepared dish or ramekins. Drizzle the batter over the strawberries, and put the dish in the oven to bake for 40 minutes (30 minutes if you use ramekins), until puffy and set.

Transfer dish to a rack, and let cool to room temperature. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar, and serve directly from the baking dish or ramekins. Clafoutis is traditionally served on its own, but if you like you can add a few fresh strawberries on the side, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a little whipped cream.

CAN YOU IDENTIFY THIS FLUFFER?

This was in Atlanta when it snowed last year!  I found it on the camera.  This next one is a personal favorite of mine

I love the fear in his eyes.

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