Happy day-before December shelter-in-place order, News24/680.com Foodies! I’ve got another offering to help see us through challenging times:
I will be posting more stay-at-home cooking ideas over the next few weeks to help you and your family cope with the pending order. Nothing better than cooking and enjoying your creations together!
The classic Clafoutis is a baked French dessert of black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter; baked and dusted with powdered sugar. The clafoutis comes from the Limousin region of France and while black cherries are traditional, there are numerous variations using other fruits: pears, plums, apples, cranberries and blackberries – depending on the season. When other fruits are used instead of cherries, the dish is properly called a flaugnarde. For those interested, here’s a link to how to learn to properly pronounce flaugnarde: Click here to pronounce ‘flaugnarde’.
I usually prepare this as a large ‘pie’ in a cast iron pan (see photo). In this variation, for my meal service, I needed to create single-serving portions to serve individual diners. I chose to bake them in a festive “tulip” baking cup, which is deeper than a standard cupcake paper cup and allows the batter to rise during baking. This worked perfectly, and thought I would share this option with all of you. Another example of what we chefs do when presented with a “problem” and come up with solutions. Things don’t always work out, but in this case, it did!
Serve these at your (small, household-only) holiday dinners this year – they will be a hit!
Looking forward to your feedback!
– Chef Charlie
Pear – Currant – Cognac Flaugnarde Cups
3 ripe Bartlett pears, halved, cored, peeled, and cut into a 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup cognac (brandy)
1/3 cup granulated baker’s sugar
1/2 cup dried currants
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup granulated baker’s sugar
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar for dusting
Equipment: a 12-count cupcake pan and 12 tulip baking cups
• Preheat the oven to 350˚F and place a rack in the middle position of the oven. Place the baking cups into the cupcake pan.
• Combine the diced pears with the cognac and 1/3 cup sugar and let rest for a minimum of 30 minutes.
• Place the batter ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Blend on high for one minute to combine and incorporate air into the batter.
• Pour the mixture evenly into the baking cups. Divide the diced pear and liquid and evenly distribute into the batter of each cup. The fruit will initially sink – never fear – during baking, the fruit will rise to the surface. Then, sprinkle the batter with dried currants (a couple dozen or so).
• Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes. The batter will rise and may spilled over on the pan a bit – that’s OK. The tops should be puffed, set and lightly browned.
• Carefully remove the paper cups from the pan onto a platter or individual plates.
• Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Makes 1 dozen
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