Thursday, April 08, 2010

Easter Dinner's Dessert: Clafouti

Clafouti is a dessert that has intrigued me for a while, especially after I cut a recipe for it out of Thrifty Foods' (man, how I miss that store!) magazine God knows how long ago. I actually have two recipes for this baked custardy dessert, the other being in my copy of Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cook. I have avoided making clafouti because it requires a lot of eggs, and I have previously been stingy with my eggs since they are not cheap. But, times change, and so has my budget; I decided to make clafouti for Easter dinner's dessert.

Though my budget has changed, I wasn't willing to part with 6 egg yolks, which is what the recipe in Le Cordon Bleu calls for. Instead, I opted for the recipe from Thrifty's since it requires 6 whole eggs. I hate having a whole whack of egg whites, or yolks for that matter, kicking around, so I tend to avoid recipes that call for only parts of eggs rather than the whole egg.

The write-up in Le Cordon Bleu book did tell me, however, that clafouti is a dessert from the Limousin region of France, and that it is traditionally made with seasonal cherries, or plums or pears (how "traditional" this dessert is I don't know; it certainly didn't make our curriculum at the French-focused culinary school I attended). The Thrifty's recipe is for a pear version, utilizing canned pears. How pedestrian! I have so many berries in my freezer that I thought this would be an excellent time to use some. I made a Blueberry Clafouti!

The original recipe is here.

I made two substitutions: the first was obviously the berries; the second was a few drops of orange oil instead of the orange liqueur. I also used a whole vanilla bean, one of many that came in Jodi's wonderful Christmas parcel (also, this parcel is where the orange oil came from). I baked the dessert in a 9" deep dish pie pan.

The result: iffy!

I added the berries halfway through the baking because I didn't want them to all sink to the bottom. Unfortunately, the berries were still cold when I added them to the half-baked clafouti, and this ended up changing the temperature of the centre of the dessert drastically, necessitating a longer baking time. As a result, the sides of the clafouti were very overbaked, and the centre wasn't very custardy at all.

Kinda looks like a large Yorkshire Pudding with berries in it. I was not overly impressed with it, though there were no leftovers and everyone else thought it was fine.

I would try this again, only using the learning I gained with this experience: room temperature fruit added at the beginning of the baking. Oh well. We live and learn.


Future Grown-Up said...

I also hate when a recipe doesn't turn out right although I think your attitude of live and learn from it is the perfect way to look at it.

Also, I have to confess, that picture of the slice with the whipped cream does look yummy to me!

Kim said...

I think the picture of the clafouti with the whipped cream looks amazing. I know I'd be happy to have a slice:D

Pierce said...

Experiments are good. I have been wanting to try this with cherries. I could eat a whole plate of this right now!

Bob said...

Sucks that it didn't turn out how you wanted, but it looks awesome.

I don't like having half eggs sitting around either, I either don't wind up using them or I make something I don't really want just to use them up.

Judith said...

It looks lovely! And you can make any dessert look divine with whipped cream- or even better, clotted cream.I guess you don't remember me making clafouti 1 summer with cherries from the Okanagan.

Wandering Coyote said...

Mom: What??? I certainly no NOT remember that!!!


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