For some reason–perhaps it’s the pronounciation–I’ve always shied away from making clafoutis. A recent trip to my local farmers’ market compelled me to purchase cape gooseberries, and figured they would be a great stand-in for traditional cherries in this French dessert. The berries are sweet and tart, with a lingering, almost nagging, tomato flavor.
I used this recipe from John Besh via Epicurious. The only thing I did differently was add a pint of cape gooseberries.
Straight from the oven, the clafoutis is beautiful: puffed like a souffle and a gentle golden brown. In the time it took me to swiftly bring it to the front door for a close-up, it was dead-on-arrival. How did it taste? Kind of like a big, thick crepe, or a sweet, dense pancake. Not bad, but I feel this could use some tweaking in the future, especially since it lends itself to fruits of all seasons. Either way, it was a nice little project that came together quickly and satisfied our inevitable nighttime dessert binge. Next time, this will serve as breakfast in lieu of French toast.
This is summer in a bowl, and I have a loose recipe to represent the season:
170 g (1 6-oz package) raspberries, 12 raspberries reserved for garnish
1/4 cup sugar
1 loaf store-bought cornbread, cubed
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
Mint sprigs, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Combine the raspberries (except for the 12 reserved raspberries) and the sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until the raspberries have broken down. Remove from heat and cool.
3. Place the cornbread cubes on a baking sheet and bake until toasted and light golden brown, about 5 minutes.
4. Whip the cream with powdered sugar, vanilla extract and lemon zest until stiff peaks form.
5. Stir a third of the whipped cream into the raspberry compote. Gently fold the rest of the whipped cream into the raspberry mixture.
6. Divide the cornbread croutons among four bowls. Top with the raspberry fool and garnish with three raspberries and a mint sprig.
Sometimes, citrus is not optional–it’s mandatory. Such is the case with this dessert (or hell–why can’t it be breakfast, too?).
You could make your own ricotta, but let’s tackle that at another time. Instead, purchase whole or part-skim ricotta and combine with sugar, to taste. Stir in lemon zest and lemon juice. Top with blackberries.
Despite its simplicity, lemon ricotta with blackberries is delightfully refreshing on a warm evening.
The name of this dessert alone is reason enough to make it. Blueberry fool is foolproof. Ha. Ha. Not funny? Well, I tried.
I’ll split the procedure into steps, just to show you how you’d be foolish not to make it. Ha.
Step 1: Cook blueberries over low heat with sugar. Once they have broken down, remove from heat. (You’re not at all restricted in the fruit selection; you can be foolish with any kind.)
Step 2: Stir in fresh blueberries and fresh lemon juice.
Step 3: While the compote is cooling, whip heavy cream. Once it reaches the soft-peak stage, add a touch of sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whip until firm peaks form.
Step 4: Fold the whipped cream into the blueberry compote. Refrigerate.
Step 5: Eat.
Fool is so easy to make, you could do it blindfolded. (Don’t.) It’s so refreshing and playful, you’ll want to eat it in your underwear. (Do.)