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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Clafoutis aux Pêches

Almost two weeks ago, my husband bought about two pounds of peaches for me in the hopes that I'd make him some jam. I didn't get around to it, so this week he's been getting them in his lunchbox. But that's only so many peaches for so many days and there were many left, on the verge of going bad. What to do other than make jam?

So I was psyched when I found a Paula Deen recipe for something called Peach Clafouti. The picture looked great and the ingredients looked doable. I didn't have heavy cream but I did have half-and-half from the scones last week, so I figured that would do. Of course, the only question left was: what the hell is a peach clafouti? Having never heard of one before and having no one to talk to about it, I was saying it in my head to rhyme with football has-been Doug Flutie. I wasn't sure what a clowfoodee is supposed to look like, let alone taste like. But the main ingredient is fresh fruit, which means my husband will eat it, regardless.

Clafoutis aux Pêches

1 tbsp butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar, divided

2 cups peach slices

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup heavy cream

6 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 tsp lemon zest

1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch baking dish; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly over bottom and sides of dish. Arrange peaches in a concentric circle over bottom of prepared dish.

2. In the container of a blender, add eggs, cream, flour, extracts, zest, salt, and remaining sugar; process until well blended.

3. Pour batter over peaches and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The Verdict: First a story, if you'll allow me, s'il vous plait.

So I prepare my clowfoodee in the midst of my crazy poulet et pommes de terre, slightly worried that half-and-half wouldn't work like heavy cream. I poured my batter over the peaches then had to return the dish to the fridge as the chicken wasn't ready to vacate the oven. Oh great, I'm thinking, especially as the peaches start to pop out of the batter. Finally, the dish goes in the oven and cooks.

When I pull it out, it is not cake-looking like the Paula Deen picture, but shiny. The toothpick came out clean, so I knew it was cooked. Still, Noyan walked by and said, "That looks good!" I let it sit for a while then served it. We sat eating what appeared to be peaches baked in custard. It tasted wonderful, but this wasn't clowfoodee. So I momentarily thought: just lie. Write in the blog that you made peaches baked in custard on purpose.

Before blogging about the chicken last night, I decided to do a little research into clowfoodees. And wouldn't you know, it's actually a French dessert. I learned from Wikipedia that outside of France it's often called a Clafouti, where in France it's a Clafoutis. (Ah, so it's not a clowfoodee.) It's traditionally made with cherries, but lots of other fruits are often used. So I checked in with Julia and voilà! there under fruit flans is not one but seven recipes for Clafoutis. Which leads to the absolutely amazing part--my peaches baked in custard was actually more authentic than the cakey looking picture! HA!

So, The Verdict: Easy, creamy, not cloyingly sweet. And the perfect dessert pairing to a French meal.

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