Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blueberry Clafoutis

It was a sweet slow summer afternoon in Lyon when I had my first introduction to clafoutis. Therese, a good friend and a good cook who shared interests in food and cooking, invited me to lunch in her apartment during my vacation there. For the main course, she made a delicious vegetarian lasagna, with bright clean tomato sauce, perfectly cooked mixed vegatables, creamy bechamel and gruyere cheese. Which I ate more than I should have. For dessert, knowing my fondness of pastry cream and vanilla custard desserts, she prepared an apricot clafoutis.

Clafoutis is a French baked fruit-filled custard dessert. Traditionally it's made with cherries, sometimes with the pits left in. Hers was so delicious that I had two generous servings (despite...) and asked her for the recipe.

Its high protein content and lightness (meaning low calories) make it an ideal dessert after a heavy meal for me. I make it often and have tried several other recipes. The basic recipe that I like best and use all the time now has 1/3 cup each of ground almonds and flour, 1 cup of whole milk, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 2 eggs. I make some variations each time by substituting fruits (blackberries, cranberries, strawberries, plums, poached pears), or adding almond or maple or jasmine extracts, or varying the amount of flour / ground almonds, or substituting some with ground flax seeds. The last time I used all flour with cranberries and jasmine extract and it turned out _very_ dense.

Today I wanted to make a high-protein low-calorie dessert, and having about a cup and a half of skim milk that needed to be used up, I thought of a clafoutis.

But a lighter and healthier version yet. I decided to use frozen blueberries, omit the ground nuts, add a tablespoon of cornstarch, reduce the amount of flour, substitute all-purpose flour with whole wheat, whole milk with skim milk.

The result was very different from other variations I have tried. It's delightful! The flour part seemed to have separated itself during the baking and formed a 'crust' (perhaps because the whole wheat flour is heavier), leaving the upper part custardy. I love it and will be using this version in the future.

Blueberry Clafoutis Recipe

Ingredients :
3 eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup whole wheat flour
1½ cup skim milk
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup blueberries

Directions :
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl, whisk eggs and sugar.
3. Whisk in the dry ingredients.
4. Slowly whisk in milk, until smooth batter forms. Stir in extracts.
5. Place blueberries in a greased and floured 9 inch pan. Pour batter over top, and bake for 40 minutes.
6. Allow to cool then dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Bon appetit!


Unknown said...

Mmmm... looks yummy rung, would it be ok to try with blackberries (which is a much softer fruit) as i,m not a huge fan of blueberries? I,m worried it may go all mushy with a softer fruit??? Looks good though, keep up the good recipes :)

Unknown said...

I love custard too and this looks yummy. Can we use chocolate chips instead of berries? :-D How many calories per piece, MMXX said he might try this recipe this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for visiting and leaving the comments! Blackberries, yes. If frozen, then use them frozen. Chocolate chips, unfortunately, no... Let me know how it turns out if you try.

Anonymous said...

YUM! I am going to give this a try. I happen to have a bunch of frozen blueberries that need to be used. Come over and check out my blog. I focus on healthy eating too. Here's to good food!
Dana Zia

test it comm said...

I really like the sound of a blueberry Clafoutis!