This recipe is from my grandmother Antoinette (from whom my pottery business memorializes - with her nickname, 'twinette) and making this simple dessert using my ceramic cook/bakeware honors and celebrates her. Grandmama Antoinette was a woman with a hilariously sarcastic tongue, and a penchant for pushing buttons- she may not have been the most outwardly emotive person, but one way she showed us she loved us was through her cooking. She never presented her grandchildren with less than 3 dessert options after a meal. Often the spread included fresh baked pies perfect for showcasing the summery goodness of fresh fruit- but she also often had old timey favorites like tarte au sucre... yes that is sugar pie. Her clafoutis recipe is one that my mother brought into our home which I grew up eating. This is probably because my mom is a health nut- and much of the sugar in this recipe comes from natural sources: fresh fruit. If you find yourself craving this bubbly jammy goodness in the winter, it can also be made using frozen berries, but expect longer bake time.
Growing up, my mother always called this clafoutis, but when I had my mom dig up grandmama's recipe, it was under a different name, pate a poutine. Go figure. Classically french style clafoutis are more custardy and often use almond flour. This recipe is a bit more utilitarian, in that most people probably already have an egg, flour and milk in the pantry. This style clafoutis is also more cake like. For those of you who aren't familiar with this dessert, it features piles of fresh fruit which are baked with a cakey blanket covering the top.
Clafoutis (Pate a Poutine de Maman)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 lemon
- 2 pints of strawberries (any ripe berries can be substituted)
1) Soak strawberries in water- if your not using organic , soaking for 30 mins is the most effective to remove pesticides (thanks to chef Luke Creagan for the tip!).
2) Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix dry and wet separately- so whisk egg, then mix in milk.
3) In another bowl, cream sugar and butter to combine, then add flour, baking soda, and salt.
4) Incorporate wet and dry ingredients, the batter will be a fairly dry and thick. Stir until just combined.
5) Heap halved berries into a pie dish. I used 2 pints of strawberries. Depending on sweetness of your berries, you can sprinkle sugar on top. I squeezed half a lemon over the top of the fruit, for a boost of brightness.
6) Spread the batter over top the berries. It's ok if it does not completely cover. I like the berries peeking through the batter in the end!
7) Bake until golden 30-55 mins. Insert toothpick, when clean its done!
8) Cool a bit and serve!
* Classy variation- adding lemon zest to batter *
Clafoutis can be enjoyed with ice cream, whipped cream, but also excellent warm and stand alone, Bon Appetite, Merci Grandmama Bouvet!