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Best summer dessert

Posted by Sheryl Julian  July 5, 2010 06:02 PM

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This is clafoutis, which is French, made originally in Limousin with cherries. This one has blueberries and raspberries, both in season now. The egg and milk batter that turns into clafoutis is something like a pancake batter. If you make it in advance and let it sit, the batter is better later. The result is a mildly sweet, eggy pudding that's light and studded with juicy fruits.

It's from a new book I'm obsessed with. I'm cooking my way through Dorie Greenspan's new book, "Around My French Table," due out in October.

doriefrenchbook.jpg

Dorie divides her time between New York and Paris and she's made it her business to translate the French table in a way that makes every dish appealing. Granted, French cooking is wonderful to begin with, but Dorie tells you stories that delight you, gives you information you should know, keeps you transfixed.

In her clafoutis recipe, she explains something I've always wondered about. I had heard that in Limousin, you are served clafoutis with cherries that have not been pitted. Writes Doris: "The theory is that the cherries retain more of their flavor (and, of course, their juice) if you keep the pits, but I'd never had the chance to ask a native from the land of clafoutis the polite and proper way to dispose of those pits."

She has just met a woman from Limousin, so she finally has the opportunity. "You put them in the pit bowl," declared the woman, who went on to tell Dorie that the bowl, which came from her grandfather, goes into the enter of the table. But because Dorie didn't know the woman, she writes, "I didn't think it was right to quiz her on how the pits got from the clafoutis eater's mouth to the bowl. I'm sure they were conveyed on a dessert spoon, but isn't it easy to imagine kids having a little fun shortcutting the spoon?"

Dorie Greenspan's clafoutis

Serves 6

Butter (for the dish)

1 pound sweet cherries, stemmed but not pitted, or 1/2 pint fresh raspberries mixed with 1 pint fresh blueberries

3 eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Pinch of salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup flour

3/4 cup whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

Confectioners' sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter a deep 9-inch pie pan or another dish with a 2-quart capacity.

2. Arrange the fruits in the pan in an even layer.

3. In a bowl (or blender), whisk the eggs and sugar for 1 minute. Whisk in the salt and vanilla. Add the flour and whisk vigorously until the batter is smooth. Continue whisking, adding the milk and cream until blended.

4. Pour the batter over the fruit. Bake the clafoutis for 35 to 40 minutes or until it is puffed and lightly browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

5. Transfer the dish to a rack. Serve barely warm or at room temperature. Before serving, dust with confectioners' sugar. Adapted from "Around My French Table"

About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.

Contributors

Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.
 

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