Wild Ginger

recipes for pleasure and nurishment


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Tale of Two Spring Clafoutis

Tomorrow is May 1, and the yard is alive and blooming. The tulips are finishing up their color run, lilacs are in suspended animation, about to fully bloom, the peonies are standing tall and have the smallest buds showing, and the rhubarb is lush and spreading.

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Spring yard, with rhubarb patch in the top left corner

Today is gray, with chilly, cloudy weather and the recent loss of my mother. It is a good day to turn on the oven and lose myself in baking. While I never knew my mom to make clafouti, I know she loved rhubarb and sweet cherries, and I have both of those in abundance.

When we moved to our house, we brought rhubarb from Aaron’s family garden, which has been feeding the family for five generations now.

 

My go-to recipes for these two varieties of clafoutis: Emma Christensen’s Roasted Rhubarb Clafouti from the Kitchn and Christine Gallary’s Cherry Clafoutis (Clafouti) on Chowhound. For the most part, I followed the basic bones of the recipes and adjusted for taste. Roasting the rhubarb is an extra step and it is worth it.

Roasted Rhubarb and Mandarine Orange Clafouti

Preheat the oven to 350° F, serves 4-6

Ingredients:

–Rhubarb

2 cups rhubarb, cut into two inch pieces
2 Tbsp Sugar in the Raw
Juice from 1 mandarine orange

Butter to coat pan

–Clafouti batter

1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs at room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk (I used half and half, as that is what I had on hand)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon orange zest
pinch of salt

Recipe:

Oven at 350° F for the roasting and the baking.

Mix rhubarb with sugar and orange juice and spread in single layer on a cookie sheet. Or, simply use the pan (8×8″ baking dish or 9″ pie pan) in which you will cook the clafouti. Cook about 20 minutes, until rhubarb is soft, and cool.

Arrange cooled rhubarb in single layer at the bottom of the pan.

 

Whisk eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk in milk. Whisk in flour, orange zest, and salt.

Pour batter over rhubarb and bake 35-40 minutes (350° F), until golden brown, puffed, and edges are pulling away from the side. You can also feel the center to see if it is set.

Like a soufflé or a Dutch Baby, it will fall. It is softer when warm and very creamy. It is a more dense custard as it cools. It is good warm, room temp, or cold from the fridge.

Good for dessert or breakfast or whenever you need a bite.

My other ingredient comes just once a year to Aldi, Dark Morello Cherries, and I bought four jars, which I am now regretting. I should have bought a case. These are actually sour cherries in sweet syrup, and they work really, really well in this recipe.

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Dark Morello Cherries from Aldi

Dark Cherry Clafouti

Preheat the oven to 375° F, serves 6-8

Ingredients:

–Cherries

12 ounces of Dark Morello Cherries (or use fresh sweet cherries. Any other stone fruit would work, like peaches or plums)

Butter to coat pan

–Clafouti batter

3 large eggs at room temp
1 cup whole milk at room temp (I used half and half)
1/3 cup granulated sugar (the original called for 1/2 cup, but the cherries are sweet enough)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
pinch salt

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 375° F and use butter to grease the pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with the cherries (or other fruit).

Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, and salt until sugar and salt have dissolved. Whisk in flour until most of the lumps are gone (do not worry about small lumps).

Pour over cherries

Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown, puffed, and pulling away from the edges. The middle should be mostly set.

Like a soufflé or a Dutch Baby, it will fall. It is softer when warm and very creamy. It is a more dense custard as it cools. It is good warm, room temp, or cold from the fridge.

Good for dessert or breakfast or whenever you need a bite.

If I was not taking the rhubarb clafouti to work, I’d have trouble deciding which one to try. My six year-old had a couple cherries before the baking, but for his sample, he went for the custardy parts.

Enjoy!

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