The problem with a lot of baking and pastry making is that there are so many steps to follow, in a very specific order, in very specific measurements to be conducted at very specific temperatures. I just can’t do it…so I try to stick to the basics and make them nice and flashy so you don’t notice how easy it was to do.
When I came across a recipe for Clafoutis last summer [pronounced Cla-foo-tea, not Clawfoodie, like I had originally thought…], I was so happy because I could make it! I knew I could and it wouldn’t take me all day. Clafoutis is a French dessert originally baked with whole cherries, but you can swap the cherries with pretty much any ripe seasonal fruit. Essentially it’s a fancy pancake with fruit cooked into it, topped off with sugar, either confectioners or granulated, and finished with a dollop of whipped cream. I mean come on…
I’ve tried making it with cherries, I’ve tried it with fresh figs [YUM], but right now, other than citrus, it’s sort of slim pickins down in Texas, so I found some good looking strawberries and went at it. I think this dessert – or breakfast, is a true show stopper. It looks all puffed and golden brown when it comes out of the oven and once you dust it with sugar it looks so darn pretty. I think it’s probably the near instant satisfaction of this dessert that wins me over.
[Prep: 20mins / Cook: 40mins / TOTAL: 1hr
- 1 pack strawberries, washed, stemmed and cut in half
- 1 lemon, washed, zested and juice from half, about 1 tablespoon
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar separated
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
Grenadine Cinnamon Whipped Cream
[Total: 3 mins]
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon grenadine syrup
- Pinch of lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest the lemon and melt the butter [microwave it for 20-30 seconds]. Combine milk, heavy cream, granulated sugar, flour, eggs, melted butter, vanilla and almond extract, salt and lemon zest [reserve a pinch of zest for the whipped cream] into a blender or food processor and mix for 1 minute. Let this batter sit for 20 minutes.
Rinse and stem the strawberries and cut in half lengthwise. In a small mixing bowl add the berries, 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, mix well.
Preheat oven to 425°. Butter 9 -10 inch cast iron skillet or baking dish, including sides and coat with granulated sugar. It’ll take about 1 1/2 tablespoons. [If using a skillet make sure the handle is oven-proof.] Place strawberries in the skillet, spacing them out evenly. After batter is done resting, add to the skillet and put it into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes at 425°, then lower heat to 375° and bake for 20-25 minutes more. The clafoutis is finished when it is a dark golden brown at the edges.
While the clafoutis is baking, combing remaining cream, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon grenadine and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon in a small mixing bowl. Beat until stiff peaks form. If using an electric blending this will happen quite fast, if beating by hand it will take about 3 minutes.
When the clafoutis is done baking let it rest for a few minutes. [It is best served warm, but if served right out of the oven it looses its shape.] When ready to serve, dust the cake with the confectioners sugar and add a dollop of whipped cream to each portion. Enjoy!