SMiLes by Meg

Clafoutis

Explaining what exactly Clafoutis is is a difficult thing. I’ve compromised and categorized it as both a pie and a cake, but the dessert itself is somewhere between a souffle, crepe, custard, and pancake. A little light, a little eggy, a little cakey, kind of creamy – you won’t really know what I mean until you try it for yourself.

Fortunately, if you started right this second, you could have a piece in an hour.

But let me back up a little bit. Last Saturday, Erik and I got on a ferry in Bellingham, Washington. Five days later, we arrived in Anchorage, Alaska, only to find out that our temporary housing (Erik’s lease doesn’t start until September 1) had fallen through due to a flooded basement. Despite what might seem like a disaster, the end result has been infinitely more pleasant – we get to spend a week with some family friends of Erik. Barb and Randy have been wonderful hosts, as have their two cats. Last night, they were having some friends over for dinner, so Erik and I volunteered to make dessert. Enter Clafoutis.

First, make the batter. Put the milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, salt, and flour in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy. I used medium speed on a Vitamix. Then, put the blueberries (or whatever other berries you want) in the bottom of a greased pie plate. Barb and Randy had some frozen Alaskan blueberries, fresh-picked by hand, in their freezer, so I thawed those to use. I definitely will be doing some berry picking in the next month.

Then, pour in the batter. Bake at 350°F for about 50 minutes, until puffed up, browned, and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let sit for a bit, maybe 10 minutes. It will settle back down into a more manageable looking dessert. But don’t let it sit too long – this is best eaten warm. Meanwhile, if you want to get fancy, you can serve this with some fresh whipped cream. Randy whipped this up by hand – it’s just heavy cream, vanilla extract, and sugar. I’m not one to volunteer to whip something to stiff peaks by hand, but his whisk has this cool inside ball that seems to help the process along. Anyways, cut the Clafoutis into slices, like you would a pie.  Serve with a dollop of whipped cream. If you’ve got any left over, cover and refrigerate. Erik just had a slice for breakfast, which seems like a good move.

Unrelated, now that I’m in Alaska for a month, I’m thinking of doing something a little different with the blog for the month of September. You’ve seen my sourdough recipes in the past, but Alaskan sourdough seems to be a thing of its own. On Wednesday, we stopped at a bakery that bakes everything using a sourdough starter, and I swear it was the best scone I’ve ever had in my entire life. Since my starter is back in Boston, and Erik likes to bake bread, too, I thought I’d make my own starter out here from scratch. Unless anyone strongly objects (and if you do, you should tell me so in the comments), I’m planning on walking you all through this adventure with me. How do you start a starter? How often should you feed it? What can you make that isn’t a loaf of bread? All those questions will (hopefully) be answered starting next week!

Anyways, now that you know how easy Clafoutis is, I hope you’ll give it a try!

Enjoy!

Clafoutis

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 pint blueberries

Directions:

  1. Combine milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, salt, and flour in a blender. Blend on medium speed until smooth and frothy, about one minute.
  2. Grease a 9-inch pie plate. Spread blueberries in a single layer on the bottom of the dish.
  3. Pour in batter and smooth top with a spatula.
  4. Bake at 350°F for about 50 minutes, until brown, puffed up, and a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven and let settle for about 10 minutes.
  6. Slice and serve with fresh whipped cream.

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