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Classic French Clafoutis


mnfoodie
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While we're on the subject -- one dear to my heart as my oven was broken last spring and there were no clafoutis in my house -- Julia Child uses almond flour in her recipe, something I have not seen elsewhere. Acceptable, or apostacy?

I always pit because by dessert we've all had too much wine to be wary of pits. Besides, who wants to work hard for dessert?

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Not just loose, but sturdy. Why, exactly, is your jacket doing double duty as a tablecloth in this picture? An interesting backdrop to be sure, but weren't you concerned about potential scorch marks, etc?

The clafoutis was lukewarm or cool-- as it should be. It didn't harm the fabric, but thanks for asking.

Bux: Pictures tell a lot and Therese picked up on the fact that the clafoutis was on valuable threads. Do you think explaining the temperature clafoutis is best served is an ok post on this thread?

Cooled to room temp our usual practice. Clafoutis makes a nice brunch dish, and nice weather's here already for us.

But how did your jacket get on under the dish, room temp or no?

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I was given a digital camera for my birthday last year.

I was playing "food stylist."

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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I was given a digital camera for my birthday last year.

I was playing "food stylist."

Heh heh. Where fashion and food collide. :wink:

I'm going to have to remember to take a picture of clafoutis next time I make it. And my deck furniture is due to arrive today, so maybe I'll make one to eat outside this weekend if it's nice.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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By the same token, most Americans shouldn't be making clafoutis at all, since the traditional recipe calls for black, not red, cherries, which one rarely sees on this side of the pond. In any case, the French are as guilty as anyone when it comes to using other fruits and even vegetables in the dish. My livres de cuisine are full of non-traditional clafoutis recipes, some of which are really quite good. One of my favourites involves replacing half the cherries with far more affordable rhubarb.

Guilty! good Lord! :biggrin:

If I were to include guilt in my experience of cooking I think I'd chose another occupation.

As for "traditional" clafoutis, I've had many opportunities to discuss this so I am not going to start again, but it is a country recipe, of which many versions exist, and I think one should not be too rigid in defining "the real authentic recipe of (this or that)". In the case of clafoutis, well, black cherries - OK, sure, but when you had other cherries on hand, well you used them and nobody felt guilty about this. And what do you do in Auvergne when you want to make a clafoutis in Winter? Well you use raisins soaked in rum. And so on.

My understanding (which is often off) is the clafoutis belongs to a class of similar flan type dishes and that the exact filling changes from region to region. I have a recipe for one that is just the egg custard flavoured with lemon and it is v.good. Also is it correct that originally clafoutis was made in a cabbage leaf?

I love clafoutis. Brings back happy memories of stealing cherrys in the Macon.

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Bux: Pictures tell a lot and Therese picked up on the fact that the clafoutis was on valuable threads. Do you think explaining the temperature clafoutis is best served is an ok post on this thread?

I think that all you can add to a subject under discussion is worth posting. As far as where a thread should be located, I'd ask members to use their best judgment and have some understanding for our interest and attempts to keep the site organized if we later move or splt threads. Alert us as well, using the "report this post," if you reason to believe a change of venue for the thread would be useful.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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My understanding (which is often off) is the clafoutis belongs to a class of similar flan type dishes and that the exact filling changes from region to region. I have a recipe for one that is just the egg custard flavoured with lemon and it is v.good. Also is it correct that originally clafoutis was made in a cabbage leaf?

I love clafoutis. Brings back happy memories of stealing cherrys in the Macon.

I am tempted just to enjoy and forget about understanding things at times. Nevertheless, I notice that my edition (English language) of the Larousse Gastronomique it is listed as "Clafouti" and described as Limousin home cooking that is a kind of fruit pastry or thick pancake usually made with black cherries. The accompanying recipe calls for stoned cherries.

In the class of flan type dishes discussed by Adam, I'd put the Breton far usually (always?) made with prunes.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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While we're on the subject -- one dear to my heart as my oven was broken last spring and there were no clafoutis in my house -- Julia Child uses almond flour in her recipe, something I have not seen elsewhere.  Acceptable, or apostacy?

I always pit because by dessert we've all had too much wine to be wary of pits.  Besides, who wants to work hard for dessert?

Ducasse uses ground almonds in his clafoutis too. The cherries are pitted. Almonds don't only make it acceptable, they also make it delicious.

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What's your French food forum?

Be our guest. (The forum is run by two persons, a Swiss chef and I.) Anybody else is welcome too, but French is the lingua franca there...

Beware though — as I wrote above, I kid you not, the two evil words are booby-trapped :laugh:

No arguments about cassoulet? :biggrin:

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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While we're on the subject -- one dear to my heart as my oven was broken last spring and there were no clafoutis in my house -- Julia Child uses almond flour in her recipe, something I have not seen elsewhere.  Acceptable, or apostacy?

I always pit because by dessert we've all had too much wine to be wary of pits.  Besides, who wants to work hard for dessert?

This is why I pit too!

Almond flour, ground almonds in a cherry clafoutis is wonderful.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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This is a tough one. So far, we've been spared a cassoulet war

I will have to investigate this site of yours and initiate one... :wink:

For now, I will say no lamb or pork. Yes to duck or goose confit, sausages of course, bread crumbs are fine.

With that said, it's a peasant dish, representing a peasant style of cooking. No proper peasant had access to a grand market to buy everything that is "supposed" to go into a proper cassoulet. No proper peasant would waste a good piece of leftover lamb by not adding it to a cassoulet. The differences are regional and familial. Everybody's grandma from cassoulet making areas made the "definitively authentic" version. I won't argue with that. :biggrin:

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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Just a little btw: the patissier Gerard Mulot in Paris makes his clafoutis with frozen pitted griottes. He bakes the clafoutis in a crust, doesn't defrost the cherries and bakes clafoutis three times a day, so they'll always be fresh. His preferred eating temperature -- 15 minutes out of the oven.

Edited by Dorie Greenspan (log)
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This is a tough one. So far, we've been spared a cassoulet war

I will have to investigate this site of yours and initiate one...  :wink:

For now, I will say no lamb or pork. Yes to duck or goose confit, sausages of course, bread crumbs are fine.

With that said, it's a peasant dish, representing a peasant style of cooking. No proper peasant had access to a grand market to buy everything that is "supposed" to go into a proper cassoulet. No proper peasant would waste a good piece of leftover lamb by not adding it to a cassoulet. The differences are regional and familial. Everybody's grandma from cassoulet making areas made the "definitively authentic" version. I won't argue with that.  :biggrin:

Actually there are local differences in the basic recipes. Supposedly there's a threefold tradition represented by Castelnaudary, Carcassonne, and Toulouse. The first cassoulet, being allegedly the "original" one, is nicknamed "the Father", Carcassonne's "the Son" and Toulouse's "the Holy Spirit". All are based on beans, garlic, pork and tomato, but additional ingredients make the difference:

Castelnaudary: all pork, including pork rinds and garlic sausage. Confit de canard added in some versions. Gratineed in oven with breadcrumbs.

Toulouse: same ingredients, confit de canard mandatory. Additions: Toulouse sausage, mutton neck and mutton stock. Gratineed.

Carcassonne: same basis as Toulouse but more mutton added, plus some red-legged partridge. No breadcrumbs: the gratinage is done by getting a top crust in oven and pushing it back into the cassoulet several times before the dish is ready.

Of course there are variations, etc., and no rigidly set rules. I am very suspicious of set rules when it comes to country and regional cooking.

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Just a little btw:  the patissier Gerard Mulot in Paris makes his clafoutis with frozen pitted griottes. 

I do too, when cherries are not in season. Works wonderfully, though I deplore the absence of pits :smile:

He bakes the clafoutis in a crust,

Which keeps it in shape,

doesn't defrost the cherries

Interesting. This certainly keeps the cherries from releasing an excess of juice and helps them stay in shape; they are cooked by the time the batter sets. If they were defrosted before cooking, they would ooze juice and that would probably dilute the batter.

and bakes clafoutis three times a day, so they'll always be fresh.  His preferred eating temperature -- 15 minutes out of the oven.

:rolleyes:

Hm, that sounds lovely. I might want to pop into Mulot's this afternoon and check this :raz:

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I will have to investigate this site of yours and initiate one...  :wink:

Well, we have set a pretty efficient defence system against "single true authentic traditional recipe" thread attempts, maybe you'd like to come over and test it? :wink:

Answer below. Quoting myself

Everybody's grandma from cassoulet making areas made the "definitively authentic" version. I won't argue with that. biggrin.gif

Just to mention in Auch only duck or goose are used. No lamb or pork.

Chef Christian Delouvier I think says pork, lamb, tomatoes and breadcrumbs are musts.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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undefinedInteresting. This certainly keeps the cherries from releasing an excess of juice and helps them stay in shape; they are cooked by the time the batter sets. If they were defrosted before cooking, they would ooze juice and that would probably dilute the batter.

Is it diluting the batter or blotching up the 'look' of the clafoutis ?

I do it to avoid weeping,. If you feel like scrolling back to the photo I posted you'll see what I mean.

I toss 'just pitted' cherries in sugar, spread them out on a plate and place them, uncovered, in the freezer just long enough for the the openings to freeze.

The sugar is with the cherries. This means you make the batter without sugar.

I do this because Charlou Reynal, one of the most famous chefs in the Limousin, told me this is the method to create the lightest clafoutis.

Place the chilled sugared cherries on the bottom of the pan, spread over the batter and bake.

Result:. No blotching.

Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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chef zadi: the late Mirielle Johnston wrote a book titled"

TheCusine of the Rose" back in the 80's.

There is room for another. Go for it.

Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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The last time I made Clafoutis was with the yellow cherries we get in So Cal. They were much sweeter than the bing cherries. I pitted them, obviously no discoloration from bleeding. Put then again, there wasn't the pretty contrast of dark cherries and the light colored batter. I also added ground almonds.

So this is another option.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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I make it with sour cherries from my garden -- the only thing I've figured out do with them, since I don't make preserves -- and I like the results better than with sweet ones. I use a sugared "appareil" to compensate, but maybe I'll try Paula's sugaring method next time.

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I make it with sour cherries from my garden -- the only thing I've figured out do with them, since I don't make preserves -- and I like the results better than with sweet ones. 

Agreed. Sour cherries are far superior to bings and rainers in clafoutis (in pies too), with an intense cherry flavour and bright acidity. It's important to up the sugar, though. The season here is short but when I can get them they're the only ones I use. Sour cherries are also good for pickling and in sauces for meat (pork, venison, duck, etc.). Have you tried drying them?

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