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Feb 9, 2008 03:15 AM

Clafouti -- not very good

I made a clafouti w/bananas following the recipe below from Smitten Kitchen as adapted from the NYT.
I made two minor changes--
1. Extra cream-Recipe calls for 3/4 cups milk and 3/4 cups cream. I had a TON of cream to get rid of so I used all cream and no milk.
2. 45 minutes baking time- the directions indicated that I should bake for about 40 minutes but after 40 minutes I inserted a knife and it did not come out clean so I baked for 5 more.

The color was gorgeous, the the texture was perfect, the smell was delicious, the taste . . . eggy and kind of more like a savory custard or rich quiche gone bad than a dessert. It wasn't g-d awful, it just wasn't that good. Why?

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  1. Clafoutis is a rustic, eggy dessert with most of the flavor derived from the fruit over which the batter is poured. Perhaps your bananas were underripe? If you really like bananas, maybe next time add a little oomph by adding some banana liquer or rum, a la banas foster. But I urge you to try the classic clafoutis made with cherries:

    I really love the Chanteduc Clafoutis from Patricia Wells' At Home in Provence. Her recipe uses 6 tablespoons each of heavy cream and milk, 1/2 cup sugar, and some kirsch whisked together then poured over 2 pounds mixed berries or cherries that have been baked for 10 minutes with sugar and kirsch and then drained. Finally the cooled clafoutis is glazed with confectioner's sugar under the broiler. I adore this clafoutis, plain or warm with vanilla ice cream. It has great flavor.

    3 Replies
      1. re: jen kalb

        oops, forgot the eggs! - cream, milk, 1/2 cup sugar, some kirsch and 2 large eggs whisked together. That's better!

      2. re: janniecooks

        Try using brown sugar or maple sugar as the sweetener, and sour cream instead of fresh cream. The tang is very nice. Good amount of fresh grated nutmeg doesn't hurt either. I do this with fresh peaches. It is very subtle and soft in textue, but I love it.

      3. Apart from a bit flour and sugar, isn't this just a quiche with a fruit filling? I haven't tried the usual version with flour, but have used a J Pepin recipe using frozen berries and ground almonds, and, yes, the egg custard does dominate.

        Bananas are bland enough that they may need more seasoning than a classic like cherries. That can include both more sugar and an acid like lemon juice.


        2 Replies
        1. re: paulj

          I would try caramelzing the bananas first. And you could always add a little rum while you are caramelzing. Just be sure that it all burns off so that they don't end up too wet.

          1. re: paulj

            I love clafouti with apples that have been sauteed in brandy and butter prior to going into the batter. I got it years ago from Mastering the Art of You Know What. I made for every dinner party for months and months. It followed a craze my father had for rum babas. Nothing like a good healthy life style, eh?

          2. Thanks so much. Your suggestions make perfect sense. The banana were bit under ripe and they are such a mild fruit that they couldn't stand up against the eggy flavor. I think a bananas foster carmelized banana recipe would be amazing or the cherries with kirsch , or an apples and brandy recipe. It was just too easy, the presentation too lovely, and too close to good to give up. I will for sure try again with a richer fruit flavor.


            3 Replies
            1. re: Super Salad

              I used to have a clafouti recipe I loved and made in the summer with peaches. Somewhere along the way I lost that recipe. The ones I have made since seem way too eggy to me. (I know they are kind of supposed to be that way, but still.) How does that two-egg clafouti compare, jannicooks? Is it less eggy than some of the rest of them? Any other good "clafouti" recipes that might be on my wavelength?

              1. re: karykat

                Well, since the batter is just cream, milk, eggs and sugar, (NO flour) it is fairly eggy, but the quantity of fruit is quite large. Note that Super Salad's recipe included 3/4 cups each milk and cream, whereas mine from Patricia Wells has just 3/4 c. milk/cream combined with the two eggs. This quantity of batter is rather small for two pounds of fruit, so what you end up with is lusciously flavored fruit (I prefer just pitted cherries, or a mixture of cherries, blueberries and blackberries, and perhaps a little less than 2 pounds) bound together with the egg batter. The egg flavor really doesn't prevail, the fruit does. Also, the OP didn't mention the quantity of bananas used, so the less fruit, of course, the more eggy the flavor.

                And finally, the recipe I use is so simple and lovely that I have no desire to try out other versions, other than perhaps fruit substitution.

                1. re: janniecooks

                  It seems like some recipes have a ton more eggs than yours -- 4 or 5 compared to yours. So I think I will give it a try. With all the extra fruit as you say.

            2. hmmm. I don't remember where I got my recipe but I make it often and switch fruits out when in season. A favorite is apricot, but here are my notes for apple, I use flour...
              Apple Clafoutis – A Rustic Version
              Preheat oven - 375

              3 Cups of Milk
              1 1/4 Cups of bakers’ sugar
              1 T vanilla or one Vanilla bean split and scraped
              2/3 C All Purpose King Arthur Flour- sifted
              5 eggs beaten
              1 ¼ lbs. Peeled granny smith apples, sliced round ways, toss with lemon juice
              Grand Marnier or Apple Jack– to flavor , or I add a touch of cinnamon to it or both.

              Confection sugar for top

              1. Preheat the oven to 375 position rack in the middle of the oven
              And generously butter a 10 X 2 round layer cake pan
              2. In a heavy sauce pan, combine milk & bakers’ sugar, and vanilla bean (if using liquid Vanilla save with the alcohol and add with that. Make sure sugar is dissolved and reduce the heat. Gentle boil, 2 or 3 minutes and remove from the heat, set aside.
              3. Measure the flour, and using a sieve sift into a large mixing bowl. Beat the eggs into their own bowl, add them to the flour, a little at a time, mix well with a mixer, scrape the sides down, and clean the paddle. Batter should be smooth.
              4. Remove the bean from the milk, or now add the Vanilla and or Grand Marnier 1 tsp.
              5. Gradually take the milk mix, add it to the bowl with the flour, sugar and egg batter. Beat until completely blended. Mixture will be thin, and now pour into a baking pan/
              6. Arrange several layers of apples over the batter – decorative top
              7. Bake at 375 for 65 to 75 minutes until it is puffed and firm to the touch.
              8. Cool on a rack until lukewarm, about 2 hours, Dust with confectioners sugar .
              9. Serve this flan-like dessert in wedges. I have used whipped cream or even warmed a bit of sweetened cream (with sugar and vanilla) and ladled some of the warmed cream in largish shallow bowl, then placed the wedge on top.

              1. Having had several different types of clafouti, both homemade and professionally made, I think the issue is simply that as desserts go, it's not to my taste. In fact, my opinion is pretty much exactly like yours: not awful, but not good. Could be you just don't like clafouti, and there's nothing wrong with that. Nobody has to like everything.

                2 Replies
                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                  The thing that's wierd is that I used to have a clafouti recipe that I loved (but lost -- sigh) and have subsequently tasted many I don't like. They seem too eggy and I don't like the texture. So I'm wondering how to reconstruct my old recipe. And I'm thinking that the one above with fewer eggs may be the ticket. Will try it.

                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                    I am a clafouti lover and I have to agree with this: it's just not everyone's thing.