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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Almost Spring: Peach and Blackberry Clafouti





When the going gets tough, the tough make Clafouti.

Taking a break from the cheesemaking, it occurred to me that all of the fruits I canned last fall need to be used up before next fall.... and we haven't made much of a dent.   I've given some away, used some, but there are still a lot of jars downstairs.  I think that things reproduce in my basement; cardboard boxes, mismatched glassware, irresistible items from IKEA, skis.... there are just more all the time.

But you never know when you're going to need these things.  Recently our power went out for 4 days, and I was glad we had the big box of half-burnt candles, the various candlesticks, the generator, and the extension cords.   And of course the peaches.





I envisioned a Clafouti using these slices, which are still bursting with flavor from the orchard over in Walpole, along with St-Germain for that indefinable berry flavor and frozen blackberries for contrast.

Actually I have been looking for excuses to try cooking with St-Germain, the elderflower liqueur.  The bottle alone is so beautiful that you will want to buy two, to convert into bedside lamps.  Well maybe not, but...

Now as we all learned in grammar school, Clafouti (or Clafoutis) is a traditional French dessert consisting of a baked, thickened custard studded with, usually, cherries.   It's a bit like what we used to call "impossible pie", and I hope you don't remember that.    According to Wikipedia, "The clafoutis comes from the Limousin region of France and while black cherries are the traditional there are numerous variations using other fruits including red cherries, plums, prunes, apples, cranberries or blackberries. [2] When other kinds of fruit are used instead of cherries, the dish is called a flaugnarde."

A flaugnarde.  
Honestly, who has different names for different kinds of Clafouti?  It reminds me of Smilla's Sense of Snow.


Peach and Blackberry Clafouti

In Preparation:
Butter a 9-inch ceramic flan dish (Le Creuset  makes a nice one)
Heat oven to 400 F.

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup milk
2 TB St-Germain (or 1 tsp vanilla)
1 cup drained peach slices
1/2 cup frozen blackberries

Process:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, flour, and sugar.
(If the power is not out, you can do this in the blender or the food processor.)

2. Add the milk and continue beating until the batter is fairly smooth.  It should be the consistency of a light crepe batter.  Add the St-Germain and mix well.

3.  Pour the mixture into the prepared flan dish.  Distribute the peach slices evenly around the surface; do not press into the custard.  Then do the same with the frozen blackberries.  Sprinkle 1 TB of sugar over the top of the clafouti, which will glaze the fruit a bit.

4. Place carefully in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly browned and puffed.  Cool and serve, either warm with a light creme anglaise, or chilled with a dusting of powdered sugar.





The power finally came back on.  We are always last, because we're a little bit isolated, even for Vermont.  I made a list of what needed to go into a power-outage box, easily accessible at the foot of the stairs.  I'm carrying this list around in my handbag, but I'm sure I'll get to it.   


And now the snow from that storm is almost gone.   There are new bars of soap hanging from the apple trees to discourage the deer.  Runoff from the mountain flows down the side of the road, creating constant white noise.  The corgis have had their semiannual bath.  Time to consider seed catalogs, pruning, and perennials.














4 comments:

  1. I would love a slice of this goodness.... :)

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  2. I can't pronounce it, but I want to make it. Looks amazing!

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  3. That's a wonderful hint at what to come this season. Thanks. GREG

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  4. This looks delicious! I really love your photos.

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