Tartine Clafoutis Recipe Review
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Giving birth to Leo sucked the desire to cook straaaiiiight out of me. We were living on the kindness & goodwill of others for weeks and weeks and anything quick and microwaveable was more than welcome.
Ten weeks postpartum and I was starting to get the itch to get back in the kitchen aka the idea didn't immediately make me want to crawl into a hole. After I jumped back in, there were a few instances where Chad would have to finish a recipe while I tended to an upset Leo, so I jumped at the chance to leave him with Chad for an afternoon to bake with Heather (Chad, Dan & Leo would join us later in the evening for dinner).
When you're sitting on your butt the majority of the day, giving up your body to feed another human, you have a lot of time to reflect (when you're not binging on Netflix). A lot of my posts in the past six months have been just me and my camera, baking, cooking and setting up shots of beautiful food that was just going to get shoved back in the fridge instead of being shared with anyone. This solo work ends up being a bit soul sucking for me.
My passion for food has always been about the communal, the shared and the savoring. The community that is built when many hands come together to prepare. The sharing of food around the table, wine being poured and desserts portioned. The slow savoring of dishes & enjoying the fruits of your labor as others appreciate alongside. And that's exactly what this day was.
Heather and I hung out around the kitchen, making a simple dish: Clafoutis from the Tartine book. We pitted cherries, while talking about life and discussing Bringing Up Bebe, an American's perspective on French Parenting. We talked about wanting to start a book club, giving birth, and creative endeavors; we connected while our hands worked.
I picked Clafoutis (pronounced Kla-Foo-Tee) as I was thumbing through the Tartine Cookbook because of its simplicity: it consists of a baked custard with fruit. Pitting cherries was the most time consuming part, and we ended up halving them to remove the pit. No wonder the French just leave them whole, pit and all.
Bring milk, sugar and vanilla to just under a simmer, whisk together the egg and flour and then slowly add the warm milk to the egg mixture. Butter your dish, pour in the custard, top with cherries and bake. We served it after dinner with a scoop ice-cream.
My favorite thing about this recipe is: NO CRUST. It looks fancy, it feels fancy, but it takes about 15 minutes to whip together and then 30 minutes to bake while you enjoy a drink (or two). If you're serving a crowd, ditch the pie pan, double (or triple) the recipe and bake it in a 13x9 dish. Serve it for brunch, dessert, or with tea and coffee. And you can swap the cherries for any stone fruit, raspberries, or even blueberries.
The Tartine recipe was pretty spot on, but here are a few tips:
Make SURE to butter the dish before pouring in the custard, otherwise it's hard to serve
Leave time for it to cool before serving or you will have a mess on your hands.
It's best served room temp.
Don't exceed the 2 cups of cherries. I eyeballed it and put in too many cherries which hindered the finished dish from being able to stay together.
On my second go around, I left the cherries whole & un-pitted and measured two cups exactly. I actually preferred it this way. It's easier to prepare, and it's how you eat fresh cherries anyways!
2 Cups whole Milk
1/2 Vanilla Bean
3 Large whole eggs
1/3 + 1T Flour
2c cherries (pitted or unfitted)
Confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 425F. Butter a 9-10 inch pie pan or quiche dish
In a small sauce pan, combine the milk, sugar, vanilla bean (open and scrape out the vanilla too), and salt. Keep over medium heat stirring to dissolve the sugar, to just under a boil. While the mixture is heating, break 1 egg into a heatproof mixing bowl, add the flour, and whisk until it is free of lumps. Add the remaining 2 eggs and whisk until smooth.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Slowly ladle the hot milk mixture in to the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Pour the mixture into the prepared mold and add the fruit, making sure that the fruit is evenly distributed.
Bake until just set in the center and slightly puffed and browned around the outside, 20-35 minutes. Remove the custard from the oven and turn the oven temperature to 500F. Evenly sprinkle the confectioners sugar over the top of the clafoutis. Return the custard to the oven for 5-10 minutes to carmelize the sugar. Watch carefully, since it will darken quickly.
Let the custard cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Once dessert was handled, we started on appetizers and sides. Grant had already gotten the Sous Vide up and running for steaks (trendy amiright?) and we enjoyed the night air as the rest of the dishes came together: Heather's quintessential eggplant & yogurt dish included.
As far as inaugurating myself back into blog life, this was the way to do it, around a colorful table laden with food and surrounded by people who mean the world to me.