23 Jul Apple Clafoutis
23 July 2020
PREP. TIME: 30 MIN - COOK TIME: 40 MIN - SERVES: 4
A clafoutis of any kind is about as simple a dessert as you can make. It's origins are of the Midi in France where it is a popular family favourite. This dish is a perfect example of what Jane Grigson, in her Fruit Book, says food at home should always be like. "Good ingredients treated simply and with affection."
You simply prepare a batter and pour it over the buttery apples, bake it in the oven and eat it warm, sprinkled with sugar and served with fresh cream. What could possibly go wrong?
If you do not have a blender to mix the batter, simply work the eggs into the flour in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, gradually add the liquids, then strain through a fine wire sieve before using.
Be sure to select cooking apples such as Royal Gala or Golden Delicious which keep their shape perfectly when cooked. If you are lucky enough to find them - French and English varieties such as Coxes Orange Pippin, Reinette or Blenheim are wonderful too and worth seeking out.
You can save on the washing up and add flair to your presentation by baking the clafoutis in the oven in the pan that you cook the apples in and serve it from that. You will need an oven proof pan (approximately 25cm) with an oven proof handle made of stainless steel, cast iron or cast iron enamel. Do not use a non-stick pan. If you do not have a suitable pan to put in the oven, simply grease a glass or ceramic tart or pie tin and transfer the prepared apples into that before adding the batter.
If you prefer to not use alcohol with the apples, simply increase the amount of milk in the batter to 250mls.
Be particular about the dimensions of the pan that you cook the clafoutis in. If it is too big the clafoutis will be flat like a pancake - it should be like a cake.
600 g Cooking Apples
50 g Butter or Clarified Butter
75mls Calvados, Dark Rum , or Cognac
1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon powder
60 g White Sugar
175 mls Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Pinch Salt
75 g Plain Flour, sifted.
Icing sugar or Caster sugar to serve, in a shaker
2 Large Metal Spoons for turning the apples
Blender or Mixing Bowl and Wooden Spoon.
Measuring cups, Spoons and Digital Scales
Oven proof sauté or frypan - approx 25cm
Frypan and Tart Dish - approx 25cm
Prepare the apples
Remember that apples discolour as fast as you can peel them.
Before peeling the apples - prepare a large bowl of lightly salted water, or add the juice of a lemon to the water.
Peel, core and cut the apples into lengthways slices about .5cm thick.
Place the apples in the water as you go.
Cook the apples
Drain and dry the apples before frying.
Heat the pan over moderate heat and add the butter.
Once the butter has melted and is foaming add a layer of the apples .
Cook the apples gently - you may need to cook them in two batches.
Once the underside is beginning to brown turn them over, remove from the pan and continue with the second batch if necessary.
Return all of the apples to one pan, golden side up.
Sprinkle over 60g of sugar and increase the heat a little. The sugar will begin to caramelise into a syrupy sauce. Turn the apples in this mixture using the metal spoons.
Sprinkle over a tiny pinch of cinnamon and mix.
Carefully add the alcohol - it will boil furiously, remove the pan from the heat and set it aside for the flavours to combine while you make the batter.
Preheat the oven to 180C
Prepare the batter.
Add the ingredients in this order to the blender : Milk, eggs, Vanilla extract, 60g Sugar, pinch of salt, Sifted flour.
Cover the jar and blend at high speed for 1 minute.
Assembly and cooking
Gently pour the batter mixture over the apples in the frypan.
If you are using a tart dish - grease the dish first with extra butter, transfer the apples and all of their juices and arrange these on the bottom of the dish. Pour over the batter.
Place the clafoutis in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
Turn the dish to ensure even browning. If you think it is too dark already, place an oven tray on the rack above - this will limit further browning.
Put the timer on and cook for about another 10 minutes.
The clafoutis is cooked when it is golden brown in colour, does not wobble and a knife comes away clean after being inserted.
It may need up to 50 minutes to cook depending upon your oven.
When the clafoutis is cooked - remove it from the oven.
It is best when served warm.
It must be served from the dish it is cooked in.
Sprinkle with icing sugar or caster sugar through a fine wire strainer.
Serve warm with cream.
Recipe Adapted by Elizabeth Peddey from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Beck, Simone; Bertholle Louisette and Child, Julia
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