Mmm…summer is officially here and strawberries are bursting with flavor! Take advantage of the fact that they’re cheaper right now and they taste the best they will all year long! Make strawberry cakes, smoothies, put in your oatmeal, add to yogurt and ice cream…dip them in chocolate and just savor their wonderful sweetness all by their lonesome.
I decided to make a twist on a classic French dessert that is usually made with cherries. This recipe was inspired byJulia Child’s Cherry Clafoutis Recipe (pronounced: clah-foo-tee). It’s wonderful either hot out of the oven or chilled and is a wonderful addition to any summer party. Great to make a day ahead and serve chilled after dinner.
It’s kind of a custard and is SO easy to put together. Give it a try and let me know how you like it. I’d LOVE to hear about your variations. Check tips at the end for ways to experiment with different fruits.
Strawberry Lemon Clafoutis
Yields: 1 (9 inch pie pan) clafoutis
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- ½ cup sugar (divided in half)
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or almond extract)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup all purpose unbleached flour
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- 12 ounces or 2 cups strawberries
- Zest of half of a lemon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9 inch pie dish or circular baking pan. Ceramic or glass is best. Cut off the strawberry tops and them into quarters. Zest the lemon and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine milk, ¼ cup sugar, eggs, vanilla or almond extract, salt, both flours and lemon zest. Blend well with an electric blender.
Pour about ⅓ of the batter into the greased pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes. The bottom will start to cook, but it will not be solid. Remove from oven and gently add the strawberries. Sprinkle the other ¼ cup sugar on top. Pour the remaining batter over the fruit.
Return pan to oven and cook for about 1 more hour. Check the clafoutis at 45 minutes for doneness. It will be finished when a toothpick comes out clean, but it won’t be brown when it is finished cooking.
The clafoutis will naturally deflate after being out of the oven for a few minutes. You can garnish with a sprig of fresh mint if you’d like, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar for a pretty effect. It is delicious served hot or cold. Keep refrigerated if not serving immediately.
The Empowered Kitchen Tips:
Plums, peaches, apricots, other berries or cherries can all be substituted for the strawberries. You could also experiment with adding orange or lime zest, ground cardamom, cinnamon or other spices to create new flavors.