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Sunday dinner dessertThis weekend I worked on two variations of clafoutis. Just like the title says-Clafoutis is a baked dessert-filled with a flan like custard atop black cherries (traditional) but you can use apples, pears, plums, blackberries.

My two recipes came from Les Halles and Barefoot in Paris cookbooks. Two different recipes but I preferred Ina Garten’s method (Barefoot in Paris). I think it produced a moister dessert, maybe because of the cream added-darn that cream, but sure added to the “fillingness.” Check out both recipes and see which one you think will work for you and tweak it to your liking. For my adaptations to the Les Halles recipe, I used a combination of apples and blackberries.

Clafoutis

From the book Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain

Les Halles Apple and Blackberry Clafoutis

Serves 6 to 8

Introduction

This traditional French dessert should be perfect with cherry vanilla or vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients

lb. cherries, pitted
3 oz. kirsch
1 Tbsp. butter
½ cup (4 oz.) sugar
6 eggs
1 cup (4 oz.) flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar

Steps

  1. Place the cherries in a small bowl and toss with the kirsch (see #6). Let macerate for 1 hour. I used a combination of apples and blackberries, omitting the maceration.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round baking dish with the butter and coat with a pinch or two of the sugar. Place the pan in the refrigerator.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk, then add the sugar and beat well to fully incorporate. Mix in the flour and the vanilla extract, stirring enough so that all the ingredients are homogenous but without overworking the flour.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, fold the cherries and their accumulated juice into the flour and egg mixture, then pull your prepared baking pan out of the refrigerator and turn the mixture into it.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a golden brown crust has formed on top. A testing skewer inserted into the center should come out clean, not wet. Using a small strainer or sifter, dust the top with confectioners’ sugar and serve-I served it with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
  6. Note:A kirschwasser or kirsch is a clear, colorless fruit brandy traditionally made from double distillation of morello cherries, a dark-colored cultivar of the sour cherry. I used an ice wine that my daughter brought back from Germany-yummy!

Ina Garten’s Clafoutis from Barefoot in Paris (source: Food Network)

Pear Clafoutis8 servings-

Ingredients1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons pear brandy (recommended: Poire William)
2 to 3 firm but ripe Bartlett pears
Confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter a 10 by 3 by 1 1⁄2-inch round baking dish and sprinkle the bottom and sides with 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar.

Beat the eggs and the 1⁄3 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the flour, cream, vanilla extract, lemon zest, salt, and pear brandy. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel, quarter, core, and slice the pears. Arrange the slices in a single layer, slightly fanned out, in the baking dish. Pour the batter over the pears and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is firm, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. Top with vanilla ice cream.

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