I am not really fond of baking. I wish I was but somehow most of my creations end up “not-so-good.” It might be because I don’t really fancy measuring when I cook. Nonetheless, since having Ria I have been baking more regularly. It is easier to involve children in baking (maybe, because the end product is more desirable to kiddie tastebuds?). Measuring is fun with kids and teaches them not only cooking, but basic math as well.
We took a stab at a clafouti with strawberries (traditionally made with cherries) recently and it was a pretty simple and turned out OK. The batter is like a pancake batter which is then poured over fresh fruit and baked till puffed and golden. Easier than pancakes – which made me think this could be made for brunch/breakfast with whipped cream and possibly even syrup since it isn’t very sweet. The addition of ice-cream or some cream fraiche would make this a divine dessert. Perhaps, peaches and plums are next.
Strawberry Clafouti – adapted from Sunset Magazine
As easy to make as a pancake (and less work), this is a classic French dessert from the Limousin region. The fruit rises to the top, leaving a soft layer whose texture falls somewhere between custard and cake. Ria made me add some chocolate chips to half of it….for some of us, dessert must have chocolate!!
Serves 4 to 6
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 8 ounces strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (I might add a little more next time I make this)
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Powdered sugar (for dusting on top)
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 2-qt. baking or gratin dish with the butter. Toss strawberry halves with cornstarch until evenly coated, then arrange berries, cut side down, in bottom of dish and set aside.
2. In a blender, whirl eggs, milk, flour, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt 15 seconds. Pour batter over strawberries. (We just used a whisk – more fun for kids and easier clean-up)
3. Bake until puffed, golden brown, and set in the center, about 50 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.