Since our decision to kick cable t.v., to the curb, there’s a lot less television-watching in our house. We’re down to NetFlix and about 25 channels, twelve of which are in Spanish and of no use to anybody. The other twelve or so are home shopping (still not useful), local affiliates (mainstream programming not my taste), and PBS. So, I’m watching a lot of PBS. And, hey, I’m a member, so no guilt trips, please.
One of the shows we see…well, I see pretty regularly as my partner-in-crime is snoozing away on the other half of the couch, is a great gardening show called Growing a Greener World. One of the best things about it is the cooking segment at the end of each show. Chef Nathan Lyon (Tweet him @chefnathanlyon – he even tweets back), always seems to be cooking up something fresh and easy-to-prepare with nutritious ingredients you don’t have to hunt down at a specialty store. It’s nothing over-the-top. Just healthy, simple fare you can throw together for a weeknight meal for your family, and always a little unique to impress your guests. I don’t own his cookbook, but I’m definitely going to get it given the rave reviews I’ve gotten with his recipes, so far.
This one was from an episode we watched last night. Again, I watched, hubby dozed. I’d made a traditional cherry clafoutis at my mom’s one summer a number of years ago. It was delicious. How could it not be delicious? It’s full of eggs and a tiny bit of sugar and fresh fruit. And, it’s fun to say! What I discovered after baking this one; blueberry, is the French are particular about their clafoutis. It’s apparently only a clafoutis if it’s cherry. If you bastardize it, as the French would undoubtedly claim, by baking it with blueberries, or any other fruit, it’s considered a flaugnarde – not nearly as fun to say, but equally yummy. They’re not too sweet, since there’s really not much sugar compared to other desserts, and have a wonderful texture – more like a custardy-tart, since you use a minimal amount of flour to bind all the egg and creamy loveliness together. The texture is creamy, a very thick custard, and melts in your mouth. The berries hold their shape nicely, so there’s good texture in the fruit, as well. Call it what you will: clafoutis or flaugnarde, it’s good eats!
Serve it warm, dusted with powdered sugar or a little heavy cream. Personally, I found it just as delicious served cold. Personal preference. Enjoy!
Baked Blueberry Clafoutis
Recipe Courtesy: Nathan Lyon, Growing A Greener World, Episode 116
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 Tbsp granulated sugar, separated
- 5 whole eggs, large
- 1 cup half and half, or whole milk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tsp)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pint blueberries (12 oz)
- Powdered sugar, for dusting, optional
- Preheat oven to 425°F
- In a medium, oven safe, non-stick sauté pan, combine the butter with 2 Tbsp granulated sugar and place over medium heat. (Be careful not to let butter brown).
- Meanwhile whisk the eggs plus the remaining 2 Tbsp sugar on high speed until tripled in volume and pale yellow in color (about 5 minutes). Then, by hand, gradually whisk in the half and half or milk, vanilla extract, lemon zest, salt, and flour until just incorporated. It should look light and foamy at this point.
- Pour this mixture into the hot pan, top with the blueberries, then transfer into the oven. Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top, and the Clafoutis has puffed up.
- Remove from the oven, and turn out onto a cutting board. Slice, and serve with the optional powdered sugar.
***Baker’s Notes: Don’t try to skimp too much on the calories with low-fat or skim milk. Your end product will be watery and unsatisfying. At the very least, I’d say 2% milk, but whole milk or half and half are truly best. I used the full pint of berries and, even though I love blueberries, I thought it was a lot of berries. I might experiment with 8 ounces next time. Mine baked for 24 minutes and I actually spun it under the broiler for a few minutes to give the top a more golden appearance.