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.