Friday, May 25, 2012

fig clafoutis (and an explanation: what the heck is a clafoutis?)

Clafoutis: (or sometimes called clafouti) is a "baked French dessert of black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm," according to that ever-reliable source wikipedia. The article also notes that the dessert can be made with many other fruits, but then you have to call it a 'flaugnarde.' But if I called this a fig flaugnarde, would anyone ever make it? I don't think so. 

Whatever you call it, it's a super easy dessert that's perfect for summer. Served at room temperature with some ice cream or whip cream, it would be delicious with any fruit, from spring strawberries to summer cherries to fall apples. There were some deliciously ripe figs at the fruit market by my house, so I couldn't resist. But I'll definitely be making a traditional cherry clafouti later in the summer, with the pits in for added flavour (and laziness), just like the French do!
(click on the picture for a larger version)

Fig Clafoutis
(adapted from this recipe)

3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2/3 cup all purpose flour
15 to 20 fresh figs
2 or 3 tbsp turbinado sugar
butter or grapeseed oil for baking dish

Preheat oven to 350. Beat eggs in a large bowl with a whisk. Beat in milk, vanilla, sugar, salt and nutmeg. Sift flour into other ingredients, and beat well, until all clumps are gone, and the mixture is smooth and frothy. Apparently you can also make this custard in a blender or food processor, but if you do, don't forget to sift the flour - you don't want flour lumps in the final product!

Cut figs in half, and arrange cut side up in a buttered baking dish - either 9x9 square, or a pie dish. Gently pour the custard over figs - they'll move around a bit, so rearrange them if necessary. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until brown and puffy. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving, or serve at room temperature. I found the figs not quite sweet enough, so I sprinkled the clafoutis with turbinado sugar before serving, to taste. This adds a nice crunch and sweetness. The clafouti will be very puffy and soufflé-like when you take it out of the oven, but it will decrease in size after sitting a while. This doesn't affect the flavour or texture.  

No comments:

Post a Comment