A few weeks back when I published my second try at Tartine bread in “Madrid Tiene Miga” I had heard about clafoutis and remembered having seen it in Cannelle et Vanille more than once; but had never tried it. It was in my “to try” but had forgotten about it, until from a commentary from Roser I linked to her blog and there it was to remind me! She encouraged me to give it a try and so I began by reading a bit more about this traditional french dessert to learn what it really was and since I had never tried it for comparison, what the result was meant to be…Then came recipe research and then the thorough testing to get to something I liked using rapberries (as I had overproduction) instead of cherries as the authentic recipe requires.
So I learnt that precisely, that only when cherries are used, can this dish be properly named “clafoutis”, if done with any other fruit (or vegetable for savoury versions) then it ought to be called “Flognarde” instead. The truth is that I searched for flognarde and very few links show up, whereas I keep seeing versions with any type of fruit being referred to as “clafoutis”. So, that’s why I’ve still titled my raspberry version “clafoutis” because I think very few people know what flognarde is and to be honest I think it’s ok, just like a strawberry or peach gazpacho is named “gazpacho” as other than the obvious substitution, the characteristics of the dish remain the same. Does this make sense?…what I hate are bastardised versions of a dish, named after it’s original name, pretending to be so, that don’t even resemble what it ought to be (like the tabbouleh example or as it happens so often with tiramisú).
Like I said our raspberry plant has given us sooo many incredible raspberries non stop for over a month (only a few are left now) and that’s why I’ve had to give them a use. Loads and loads of jam, nothing like storebought, with more acidity, an intense radiactive colour :)and an incredible texture; thanks to Christine Ferber’s advice from her books!(it was about time I made my own jams too!). So, I’ve had enough to perfect this recipe to my taste! The first time I made it, it turned out almost uneatable…as to my surprise, the almost sweet raspberries brought out their acidity when heated. So, I adjusted that macerating them with a bit of sugar before using them and that was fixed. Then, the proportions of eggs and specially flour to get a creamier dough after setting and the sugar to get it tasty enough but not overly sweet! I gave it infusing some fresh vanilla in the milk and that too made a difference to better. So, I thought I had it just perfect until I discovered…
Ottolenghi’s clafoutis recipe!!This chef is just awesome, any dish of his I try, becomes a favourite! There are things I may prefer to change to adapt to my taste, but not one recipe I disliked or that didn’t teach me something new! So, from his first book I found a plum clafoutis (he used vanilla too in the dough!)but with an alternate, completely different method to the traditional recipe; where the dough is simply a crêpe batter. His version is more like an american pancake batter! He beats up yolks & whites separate to incorporate a lot of air into that crêpe mix, resulting in a foamy but creamy delicious texture! After quite a few trials…I now think I prefer his unorthodox version (at least for this raspberry flavoured one!). I give you both of the finalists to try and test which one suits your taste. But beware…because they are so easy to put together, such a perfect sweet & sour match, and so feathery light (specially Ottolenghi’s recipe) that they soon become addictive!!Yesterday I prepared one more batch and intended to save some for Linguine..but began with a spoonful and finished the whole thing!!Just don’t say I didn’t warn you!!
Two ways to raspberry clafoutis
(enough for 2x16cm moulds)
100g milk (or half milk, half cream)
30g flour (pastry flour is best)
40g sugar (25g for the batter+15g for the raspberries)
pinch of salt
1 small piece of vanilla bean, open & seeds scraped
10g butter, melted (optional)
100g raspberries (optionally substitute 20g for blueberries)
Ottolenghi’s batter recipe version
1 egg, separated
25g sugar(for batter)+15g for the raspberries
pinch of salt
1/4 of a vanilla bean, just the seeds
*He recommends double cream, I’ve tried 35% whipping cream and half cream and half milk and both work well
Begin marinating the raspberries with the sugar. They will bleed, but that’s ok, if you do not do this step, they’ll come out really sour!This way, they’ll come out almost like a jam.
For the traditional method, beat together just to combine, no need to incorporate any air, the eggs with the sugar and the pinch of salt. If you are on the run, you can add the vanilla seeds at once in too, if not you can infuse it with the milk from the recipe and melt the sugar in the warm milk (up to you, though the infused one has a bit more taste for the same amount of vanilla, whereas in Ottolenghi’s version, since the yolks are beaten up, rather than mixed, more flavour from the vanilla is released)
Incorporate the butter beating to integrate it, then add the flour and finally the milk (if you infused it with the vanilla bean, not just the seeds, strain it!;) ). That’s it for the batter.
Butter the moulds well, specially if you plan to unmould them later when cool. distribute the berries amongst the moulds and cover with the batter. Ideally (or to my taste) it should come up about 2,5cm-3cm.
Bake at 200ºC for 10 minutes, lower to 180ºC and continue for about 10 more minutes until golden (if you like a paler look, you can cook it for longer at 160-175ºC max, though I prefer it this way). Note that if your mould is high and you fill it up a lot, it will take longer to cook, so lower the temperature a bit. Ready! you can serve warm or cold, it is usually sprinkled with icing sugar, which looks really nice too…I just prefer to keep it simple and less sweet.
Now, for Ottolenghi’s version, it is just a bit more work. Similarly macerate the berries a bit with the sugar, then beat up the yolks with half the sugar, the salt and the vanilla until creamy and pale in colour. This will dissolve the sugar and
Add the cream and then the sifted flour (he says the other way around, but it get clumpy!) to get a smooth batter. Then, beat the whites to soft peaks with a bit of lemon juice or cream of tartar to avoid graininess, add the remaining sugar gradually as you beat until stiff peaks. Just try to avoid overbeating, or the meringue will get dry and grainy and will incorporate worse to the batter. Fold into the batter softly.
For this recipe, since it sticks more to the moulds, he recommends to line the moulds with a bit of parchment, if you intend to unmold the clafoutis. Otherwise, at least butter and lightly flour them before adding the batter. Then, drop in the raspberries distributing amongst the surface…be generous! So, it’s the other way around, as the resulting batter has a thicher consistency.
Bake at 180ºC for 10 minutes, then lower to 170ºC for about 10-15 minutes more. Use a brochette to test doneness, as it may look ready but still be goey in the inside.
I think it may not look as good as the other one…but once you dip in, it’s heavenly!
Up to the last bite! Like pancakes with soury raspberry jam and the mild vanilla flavour!
If you have any batter left over, you can use it as pancake batter! yum!Pour it on the preheated pan (not too hot), add the raspberries or blueberries
…turn and enjoy!
Now for the raspberry jam!
For 1 kg raspberries:
800g sugar (if done with seeds) or 750g if they will be removed
plus juice of half a lemon
Aren’t they just amazing?
I did this over 2 day (or up to 3 for the deseeded jam):
Day one: Mix the raspberries with the sugar and lemon juice and back into the fridge…so the raspberries naturally exude their juices. This day can be skipped and you can go straight into day 2, though I prefer it.
Day 2: bring to a light boil and then cover with some parchment to keep the raspberries dipped in their own juices. This step is specially useful if you want jam with no seeds, so the raspberries soften and then cool to handle them & remove the seeds.
Day 3: If you are going to, remove the seeds, you can use a vegetable masher (pasapurés), though I found a large strainer with a scraper to work better!
A bit of extra straining if like me, you don’t want to leave a bit!!But that’s just me being obsessive…
So, finally, place over high heat the raspberries with sugar & lemon from day 1 or the strained ones, seeds removed until the right consistency is reached. It will be at around 104-105ºC, but if you haven’t got a thermometer, you will notice how no more foam comes out and you’ll notice it clogging and beginning to set. Otherwise, just place a small spoonful in a cold dish and place in the fridge/freezer until it cools to check set. It’s important to check or you’ll end up reducing the jam too much and loose a lot of flavour and colour, to get a more tan shade. Let the pectin+sugar+acid (from the lemon)do their work to gelatinise…not caramelise by reduction!
Here’s the one with seeds:
And the one without:
Isn’t it amazing? our first raspberry jams!
To keep and make a vacuum, just sterilise pots & tops in boiling water for a few minutes and drain over a clean towel upside down. Then, as soon as the jam is ready, with a funnel fill them up to the rim, cover and turn…
Leave like that until cool for the vacuum to work, then just label and keep for ages!!
If you want a simpler way to get a super tasty raspberry sauce, though with a shorter lifespan, refer to the recipe that goes with the cheesecake, it’s really amazing!You’ll get this texture, full of flavour!
I hope you get to try at least one of the recipes!!Enjoy!