Deconstructing: Clafouti

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You may not know it, but we're approaching clafouti season. That's what I call it when the stone fruits of summer arrive at the market, ripe and ready to be folded into sweet batter and baked. • Cherries, apricots, plums and peaches, even all manner of luscious berries, are perfect fodder for the rustic dessert of central France. Say it klah-foo-TEE and put one together in less than 15 minutes. In the end, you'll have a cross between a fruit pancake and a custard.

The traditional clafouti (sometimes called clafoutis) is made with cherries. I have fond memories of making one at a cooking school in Provence where we used the entire cherry, pit and stem. Of course, the pit made the dessert treacherous and messy to eat, but it imparted more flavor into the dessert.

The dessert is baked in a shallow dish (like a quiche pan) and when done the fruit bubbles up and pokes through the cake. This is quickie dessert, finished in the oven in about 30 minutes. It's elegant enough for company dinner, or even brunch.

Janet K. Keeler, Times food and travel editor

>>easy

Cherry Clafouti

Batter:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons granulated white sugar

3/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Fruit filling:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 pound fresh sweet cherries, pitted

2 tablespoons granulated white sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place the rack in the center of the oven.

Place all the batter ingredients in the food processor or blender. Process for about 45 to 60 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once the batter is completely smooth, let it rest while you prepare the fruit.

In a large 9- or 10- inch heavy, nonstick, ovenproof skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Make sure the melted butter coats the bottom and sides of the pan. When the butter is bubbling, add the pitted cherries, and cook until the cherries have softened a bit and are coated with butter (2 to 3 minutes). Then sprinkle the cherries with the sugar and cook until the sugar has dissolved and turns into a syrup (1 to 2 minutes). Pour the batter over the cherries and bake for about 20 minutes or until the clafouti is puffed, set and golden brown around the edges.

Serve immediately with a dusting of confectioners' sugar and yogurt, creme fraiche or softly whipped cream.

Serves 2 to 3.

Source: www.joyofbaking.com

Deconstructing: Clafouti 06/24/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 4:30am]

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