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Cherry Clafoutis
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:04 pm    Post subject: Cherry Clafoutis Reply with quote

CHERRY CLAFOUTIS
(from Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook, by Alice Waters (Harper Collins, 1999)

1 pound sweet cherries (preferably Bing), washed and pitted
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
pinch ground cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup cream
a pinch salt
powdered (confectioners') sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a baking pan large enough to hold the cherries loosely in a single layer. Prepare the cherries and arrange them in the pan. Sprinkle with with lemon juice, zest, cinnamon, and (1/3 cup) sugar. Bake until the fruit is tender, about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Butter another gratin dish large enough to hold the cherries in a single layer, or use four individual gratin dishes. Drain the cooked cherries, reserving their juice in a small saucepan. Arrange the cherries in the bottom of the baking dish. Beat together the egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Beat in the flour, vanilla, almond extract, and cream.

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form soft peaks. Stir a little of the whites into the batter, and then carefully fold in the rest. Pour the batter over the fruit in the baking dish, letting a little fruit show through the top.

Take in the upper third of the oven for about 20 minutes, until the batter has puffed and browned. While the clafoutis is baking, reduce the fruit juices to a thin syrup. When the clafoutis is done, dust it with powdered sugar and serve warm with a drizzle of the syrup.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you. What excellent timing! I have a whole bunch of sweet Ranier cherries and I was thinking of doing a pie but didn't think they'd have a strong enough flavor when all was said and done.

I've got a peach & nectarine kuchen coming out of the oven in minutes but I'll try this when we've polished off the kuchen.



PS My daughter gave me that cookbook for my b-day months ago and I still haven't tried anything from it yet. This will make a good start.
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, I suspect it (and everything else) especially thrives in one's brand new kitchen. I've found that all of the Chez Panisse cookbooks are reliable in their recipes and turn out wonderful results. One would hope so, of course, but too often that's not the case with restaurant cookbooks. These deliver.

One of these days, you and Donna and I should check out the Cafe Restaurant up there on North Shattuck--just to be sure they are still up to our standards Laughing Doesn't lunch sound like a swell idea?
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does and Rachel will be returning to Cal in not too much more time. I suspect Donna has warned you of the danger in wearing white hats, tho.
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nooooo, she hasn't...but I've asked her to explain. Will contact you shortly. After I dig out a suitable hat to wear to lunch. Laughing
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I think it would be nice to share with all of us other forum posters, the story of the white hat Rolling Eyes ... has it anything to do with the cherry clafoutis Confused ? Or is it a private joke and it is indiscreet Embarassed to ask what are you talking about?


No more war, more white hats Cool as a symbol of peace and friendship
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not at all indiscrete. And what it has to do with cherry clafouti is it happened when Donna and I met and were having lunch at Chez Pannise from whence the recipe comes.

I'm just trying to lure Donna into telling because it was her hat. Wink
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what's the story with the hat?
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I thought it was her hat/her story, but since Donna doesn't seem to be available...

On the day we met, Donna picked me up on the street near Berkeley while Rachel and Steve went to an orientation (too crowded; only one parent allowed — can you imagine?). Anyway, I'm standing on the street looking for a red car; she's looking for someone in a loud shirt. But we connected and she whisked me off to Chez Panisse.

We sat down to lunch and, within 2 minutes, were chatting away like two old friends desperate to catch up after all long abscence. I mean there was not a 4 second lull in the conversation and we were pretty much oblivious to all but the excellent food and the even better conversation.

At some point, a very gentle soul sitting next to Donna on the banquette at the next table had to excuse himself to apologize for picking up Donna's lovely white sunhat at his side and using it for a napkin. He was so sweet and I only hope I'd be equally brave and gallant to fess up and ask for forgiveness. We all had a good laugh and made a memory.

Fortunately, I have a hat exactly like it (not to mention exactly the same carpet she has in her living room in mine and our kids went to the same summer camp for 7 or 8 years...) so I know it's white cotton duck that can get tossed in the washing machine, so-harm-no-foul. But it wasn't exactly what you'd think of as the memory you'd take away from Chez Panisse after years of hearing about how revolutionary her approach to food is and waiting so long to try it. It was one more of the things that made the day completely sweet and funny!
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God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor


Last edited by Rainey on Fri Jul 27, 2007 6:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice, georgia! Thanks so much for the recipe.

I must confess I'm a claufoutis virgin. I didn't know whether to try it warm or wait until tomorrow (so I had to have a small serving tonight while it was still warm; I'll find out about cool tomorrow for lunch). I didn't know whether to serve it puffy side up or fruit side up (I think it's probably prettier puffy side up tho that wasn't my intuitive reaction). I think next time, tho, I'll do it in individual dishes. And I'll use 6 rather than 4 — those are generous servings.

It has lovely fruit flavor and I thought the syrup is terrific with that sharp hint of lemon. I used my yellow Ranier cherries so I added a generous handful of blueberries for color after roasting the cherries and putting them in the second dish for the final baking. I think tomorrow I'll put a few loose ones on top for more color. Bet it's pretty with the contrast of dark Bing fruit and light custard (?) but the blueberries made mine nice too.

Meanwhile, the roasted Raniers had a lovely cherry flavor that would have done very well in a pie. I underestimated them! Cooked, that is, we love them fresh. If I get more before the season's over I think I'll try them in Clotilde's ginger pâte. Have you tried that? Soooooo easy to do! And like being a kid again and making a pie-shaped sand castle. Wink

Thanks again. I'm having more fruit desserts than we ever used to. Costco has such nice fruit and in such large quantities I have to put on my thinking cap and come up with ways to use it all.

Tomorrow is peach and nectarine ice cream. I got half flats several days ago and the perfume is getting so intense I know I've got to finish them up fast. Wish we could enjoy together — the whole C&Z family!
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God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good! I'm glad you and yours liked the clafoutis, Rainey. Although it's not "my" recipe, I always feel somewhat responsible when I recommend anything to anyone-- book, movie, music, recipe -- so positive feedback is welcome.

With only two of us around these days, I bake less than I used to, but I know what you mean about the fruit. Is it my imagination, or does it seem particularly abundant and delicious this summer?

As Simona would say: No More War! More fruit clafoutis! Laughing
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great hat story! At first I was picturing 2 ladies 'lunching' with hats on (circa 1950), but I guess it wasn't that kind of hat. Surprised that Chez Panisse seats people so close together, though, jeez. If you wipe your mouth on someone's hat, should you then offer them your sleeve for their ablutions? Wink Hats! I love the old movies where everyone wears them--men and women.

I was a rubbery clafouti victim--the poor texture problem is what started this clafouti clamor, I think. So I'll try Georgia's suggested recipe today--I have 2 pints of fresh raspberries! As nice as cherries I hope. Rainey did not mention the batter in her finished product, so I guess it was fine, the beaten egg white making a difference.

I remember a pretty extensive ice cream thread from last summer-- readers should be aware that there are many recipes in the C&Z forums that are not listed under the "Recipes" thread! Just scattered willy nilly under God-knows-what titles and so many are terrific. It just occurred to me they could be gathered up and put in one place. I'll consider this!

Meanwhile any fresh peaches that come into my kitchen usually get eaten over the sink--hard to keep peaches plums etc. long enough to slice and bake. Hard for me to "cut" those flavors with anything--even sugar. But tarts, kuchens etc. etc. are all SO beautiful...

I recently bought a book by a French chef named Roger Verge--it is all vegetables, but SO impressive that I've ordered his fruit book too--is anyone else (everyone but me?) familiar with this man? (His books are not current.)
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As we know, I am NO expert on claufoutis, but I can see two potential areas of concern. One is flour — make sure it's all-purpose or cake flour and only combine until wet and distributed so as not to develop any gluten. And, two, the egg whites — Alice Water's recipe says "soft peaks" so I'd be sure not to overbeat them and turn them dry.

I would describe the texture of what I got as "clotty" (doesn't that make you want to go out and whip this up? Wink ) as opposed to "creamy". I wonder what baking it in a bain marie would do to create a more custardy texture...
But I have to say that I tasted a little when I poured the custard mixture over it and it was delicious and creamy raw so next time I think I could go with less baking rather than more.


IF Clotilde ever does decide that the recipes and, perhaps techniques, should be gathered together, I'd be happy to volunteer for some duty. It would be handy if they were all in one place and I'd be pleased to do my share.
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the hat story.

We do have Californian cherries in the shops here but I like to eat seasonally. I shall have to wait until summer to try the clafoutis recipe and see how it compares to the Julia Child one I use. I like her method of baking a thin layer of batter first on top of the stove and then adding the cherries and finally the remaining batter.
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to have missed the hat story! I did write to Georgia to explain, but I have missed a lot of the postings on the clafoutis. In any case, it was exactly as Rainey described it! This poor man was so sweet in his confession! And he really could have just paid the bill and walked off and I'd never have known it wasn't ME who made the mess!

We have been gorging on peaches, plums and nectarines from the farmer's market (the Temescal FM at the DMV parking lot on Claremont, Georgia). I made the first pie of the season last week for a party - nectarine & blueberry. Caused a man from Georgia to cry because he said it was better than his Grandma's pie! (I was truly flattered!)

With Ben gone Crying or Very sad, and not home clamoring for pies, crumbles, tarts etc, and not making us ice cream, fruit merely gets eaten and not USED!

We may go back East to see him next week and you can bet there will be pies, crumbles and clafoutis prepared at the beach cottage! Cool
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