Can we talk about Clafouti?
I hadn't had one in probably twenty years when I decided to make one with some blackberries last week. I"d never made one myself before.
I used Suzanne Goin's recipe for the batter(http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/cranberry-walnut-clafoutis-with-bourbon-whipped-cream). The flavor was really nice but the texture was dense and rubbery.
Determined to get it right I made another last night with some frozen cherries. This time I tried Paula Wolfert's recipe with frozen cherries(http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sw...). This time it didn't rise at all in the oven and had a scrambly texture when done. It was at least looser than the last attempt.
I"m now on a mission to make a perfect clafouti. Help?
Thank you go everyone for your input on this topic. I've made a couple Clafouti since posting this, using Julia Child's recipe. We've been really pleased with the results. Hoping to find some good cherries in the coming weeks to try with cherries(Still using blackberries in the meantime).
THank you eveyrone for the comments and suggestions.
The first one I made I used fresh blackberries, teh second frozen cherries. The liquid from teh frozen ones was probably part of the problem. We're hard pressed to get good cherries here in Arizona even in season so I'll probably keep experimenting with other fruit. Our short peach season is about to start so I'll play with that for sure.
I did pick up some more blackberries at Costco today so I'm going to give this another go in the next day or two.
I've only ever had one type of clafouti, which I make from the Joy of Cooking, so I don't know whether it's eggier or cakier than others, but I think it's great. I make it with tart cherries from my tree, with pits still on, or else with peaches or whatever else is around.
The sour cherries don't travel well. Which is why you never see the fresh ones in grocery stores. They just don't last. We in Minnesota get an occasional batch in the coop or farmers market.
I think the solution is to move to Michigan or plant your own tree (I didn't think they grew well here but a friend has a very prolific tree that's pretty good.) Or use frozen cherries.
When I lived near Seattle, WA., Mauny Caseberg "The Radio Gourmet" on PBS station KUOW gave the following Clafouti recipe over the radio. I've been using it ever since as, IMHO, it strikes the correct balance between eggy and cakey.
1 1/2 lbs. fresh dark cherries, pitted, halved and macerated for 1 hr. in 4 T. Kirschwasser
1 T. unsalted butter; 2 T sugar; 1/3 C. all purpose flour; pinch of salt; 1/2 C. sugar; 4 eggs+2 egg yolks; 1 C. whole milk (or half n half or cream); 2 tsp. vanilla; 1/2 tsp. almond extract. Butter a two quart custard dish & sprinkle 2 T. sugar to coat dish. Place cherries, cut side down in dish. Mix eggs, yolks with milk. Add dry ingredients, then extracts, mixing only until incorporated. Pour custard over cherries keeping the cut side down. Bake at 350 for 40 mins.- 1 hr. until just set. Serve warm or at room temp.
If you try this, let me know how you liked it. Enjoy
I used to have a clafouti recipe that I just loved. I made it with fresh peaches or nectarines. I can't find that book anymore. Since losing the recipe, I've tried a few other recipes and been disappointed every time. I think what I don't like about the ones I've had subsequently is that they seem too eggy to me.
Does anyone have a good recipe that seems a lot less eggy?
I use Alton Brown's recipe. Works every time - blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, even (gasp) cherries! part of the secret to success is the thermal mass of the Dutch oven
12 ounces fresh or frozen cherries
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Butter, for the Dutch oven
Preheat an oven to 400˚F.
Butter the bottom and sides of a 5-quart Dutch oven. If using fresh cherries, rinse, stem and pit the cherries. If using frozen, place the cherries into a colander and allow to thaw completely before using. Discard the juice. Spread the cherries evenly over the bottom of the Dutch oven.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until frothy and lightened in color. Add the milk, vanilla and flour and whisk to combine. Pour the batter over the cherries.
Bake on the middle rack, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until golden on top and a knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
Allow to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the Dutch oven, slicing and serving.
There was a similar thread last summer with many many opinions on making "the best" clafouti:
Perhaps using frozen fruit contributes to a disagreeable texture - too much water is released during the baking and I suspect that may be the cause of your"scrambly" texture (of course you never mentioned whether your blackberries were fresh or frozen, but it's too early for fresh, so I'm guessing/assuming they were frozen).
I finally found a clafouti (also called clafoutis) recipe that worked, and it was from Julia Child of course.
Here is my adaptation. It is made with precooked apples, currants and rum. Soooo good. Substitute apple juice and vanilla if you don't want to use rum.
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup dark rum
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
6-7 apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
Enough light cream added to the remaining rum to make ½ cup
1/4 t. cinnamon
1. Mix currants and rum and let stand.
2. Spread half the butter and half the sugar in a jelly roll pan. Add the sliced apples. Cover with the rest of the butter and sugar. Bake 25 minutes at 375°. Scrape into a 13 x 9 x 2 glass baking dish. [This can be done ahead of time.]
3. Drain the currants (reserving the rum) and pour half the rum over the apples.
4. Beat eggs and sugar until thick and yellow. Add flour, rum/cream and cinnamon. Add currants. Pour over apples and bake at 375° for 25 minutes.
I'm smiling to myself as I read this, because I always think of clafouti/clafoutis as and incredibly forgiving, easy, unfussy dessert. I highly doubt I'm SO much better at making it than you are... so I wonder if maybe we just have different standards? :-) I think of it as a very homey dessert, not like a formal pastry from a bakery... so I don't have a problem with them turning out differently depending on the recipes, or the quality of the fruit, the weather, the mood of the cook.... I just think that's normal for this kind of simple family food. And -again, maybe my personality talking here- that's not really the sort of thing where "perfection" is the goal, just yumminess, kwim?
There are all different kinds of clafoutis, and all different kinds of recipes. IME the biggest different comes down to how much flour there is in the recipe, which really affects how cake-y it is, versus, creamy, eggy, pudding-y. For example, many just don't rise, orise only slightly - and that is perfectly correct for most of the clafoutis I've made and eaten.
OTOH, rubbery is definitely not good. The only thing I can think of as to what might have caused that is over-mixing... once you have combined the flour and any liquid ingredients (in this case, the egg and the milk) you have to stop handling it ASAP or it will toughen. If you think this might be the case for your verision of Goin's recipe, try for just barely combining the ingredients and then hands off. Since it is supposed to be a rustic recipe, I think it's okay for it to be roughly combined, not mixed down to the very last particle.
Some have something of a crust, or two textures; some have just one texture all the way through. I find that the recipes are greatly affected by using frozen versus fresh fruit, and cut versus whole fruit (like a halved strawberry versus a blueberry). Many use a little liquor of some kind, which affects both the flavor and texture.
Here are some recipes and an article about clafoutis in Savuer: http://www.saveur.com/search_results_listing.jsp?q=clafouti&site+searchSEARCH=SEARCH
I'm also curious to know what kind of pan you're using?
I'd start with recipes that are very straight-up at first. This looks like a very basic recipe:
Here's another straightforward recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Bing-Cherry-Clafouti-11871?recipename=Bing%20Cherry%20Clafouti&saved_to_box=y
Notice how it says "puffed," not "risen" - that seems right to me.
I've made this recipe and took many liberties with it:
I'm interested to hear what you think! Bonne chance!
Very interesting! I'm resurrecting this topic -- I was thinking of a cherry clafouti for valentine's day. When flipping thru a James Beard "On Food" cookbook, I noticed his had no milk at all, which caught my eye (lactose intolerant - boo hoo). It has 1/2 cup of butter and 1 cup of flour. VERY different from the Julia recipe that seems very popular here. Any one try the Beard recipe and your comments?