Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Individual Clafoutis

Clafoutis is something I have a huge emotional connection with.  The first time I ate Clafoutis, I was 15 and travelling on my own for the first time.  I'd flown to France to see my French pen friend.  What followed was a huge education for me.  I was nervous as hell, unsure of my ability to communicate, quiet, naive and not very worldly.  Paris opened my eyes and I fell in love immediately.

In my mind, the long awkward silences where I had no idea what people were talking about was forgotten replaced with memories of long luxurious dinners, served with wine, which, even though I'd tried I wasn't used to.  Hours of eating and laughing with friends, family, extended family.  I tried to order steak "bien cuit" in restaurants twice, for it to arrive as the chef saw fit (rare to medium rare) and learned to love it even though rare steak was unheard of in my home.  I remember having a connection with a French boy, which may have all been in my head and never went anywhere but made my heart thump and feel dizzy even looking back now.

But I also remember clafoutis.

Clafoutis

We had visited my friend's grandparents and she bought us some Clafoutis as a snack.  I didn't know then but it was served in an unusual style, it must have been leftover from the night before as it was cold and sliced into wedges, but for me, that might have been the most delicious thing I had ever tasted.

So this, after a bit of trial is my taste memory of Clafoutis made by my friend's Grandmother.  I have long lost touch with her now.  Writing that made me remember her full name and search for her on Facebook, and, strangely I think I may have found her.  What interesting places making food can lead!  I only hope her English is better than my long forgotten French but I've sent her a message.

Individual Clafoutis - Makes 2

Ingredients (see note below on measurements)

30g, 1oz plain flour
30g, 1oz sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
1 egg
65ml milk
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
10g, 1/3 oz butter (plus extra for greasing)
150g, 5oz frozen pitted cherries

Method

Put half of the sugar onto the cherries and allow to defrost.

Preheat the oven to 180oC, 350F, gas mark 4.

Mix the flour, the other half of the sugar, vanilla and egg together until smooth.  Gradually whisk in the milk.

Butter two ramekins, then shake with sugar and empty out any excess.

Mix the batter with the cherries, sugar and any juice.  Pour into the ramekins until approx 2/3 full.  Bake in the oven for approx 30 minutes or until reasonably firm.

Serve warm, or for the ultimate in nostalgia for me, cold, sprinkled with icing (powdered) sugar if liked.  If you can resist eating both, keep the second one in the fridge until you can't resist any more.

Cherry Clafoutis


When baking small quantities, I have digital scales I swear by which weigh to the nearest gram.  This is great for small quantities.  Also for liquids which are mostly water, e.g. milk or juices, you can pour into a jug or mixing bowl on scales as 1g is approximately equal to 1ml.

I've been thinking about recipes which mean something to me recently.  I love food which takes you to places, to the past, to loved ones who have passed, to friends who you had forgotten about, to experiences which changed your life but also food which challenges you, which takes you to new places, new relationships and new discoveries.  Food is so much more than sustenance which is why you should always eat like you love yourself.  You only get one life.  Will you look back some day and wish you had more oven chips?  I'm guessing not.  I might just be thinking about France and Clafoutis.

I've linked this up to flashback Friday.


My Three and Me

4 comments:

  1. I love this dessert and never had it in France. What a wonderful story... you were very brave to go to a foreign country on your own at that age. I'm sure it made a lasting impression on you. Thanks for coming to Weekend Bites ( formally Foodie Friday.) Pinned.

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    Replies
    1. It was a huge learning experience. I was too young to be brave!

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  2. I will definitely be trying this recipe soon - it looks delicious. Thank you for joining in with Flashback Fridayx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem. I hope you enjoy it.

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