Friday, August 21, 2015

Clafoutis or Flaugnarde - Eating Fruit in Season

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Everyone talks about eating fruit in season, but somehow when it comes down to it, we often forget to take advantage of local produce when it's available. Today I'm going to tell you about a delicious way that I do it. Throughout the spring, summer and fall when all the fruit is ripe and abundant in the local markets, I make Clafoutis.

Clafoutis (sometimes spelled Clafouti) is a baked French fruit dessert.  Traditionally black cherries are arranged in a buttered dish, then covered with a thick flan-like batter.  Once baked it's often dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm - with or without a little cream.

The Clafoutis comes from the Limousin region of France, and is the kind of dessert you can often enjoy sitting in a sidewalk cafe in a French village after a couple of hours spent shopping in the local outdoor market. 

While it is traditionally made with cherries, you will often find it made with plums, apples, pears and berries.  When it's made with other fruit it's properly called a Flaugnarde.

The traditional French Cafoutis  contains the pits of the cherries which contain amygdalin, the active chemical in almond extract.  During baking a small amount of this chemical is released from the pits into the clafoutis, adding an almond flavour to the dessert.

All of these characteristics makes this a perfect recipe for Primal Paleo.  Instead of regular flour, using a little almond flour gives us the same flavour.  And we can use various fruit as it comes in season.  I start making it in the spring when the first strawberries and rhubarb make their appearance. During the summer it's terrific with blueberries and blackberries, and in the fall plums and peaches give it yet another different taste.  

Here is how to make it.  This recipe will make a generous cake that will serve 8.  You can keep the leftovers (if there are any!) in your fridge for a few days, or freeze individual servings for later use.

Ingredients :

4 large eggs
1/4 cup sweetener (I use Xyla or Erithretol but you could also use honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup unsalted organic butter, melted
1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
1/3 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 pound sliced fruit

Directions :
  • Generously butter a 9" tart pan.  I use a special one with a removable bottom, but as long as you butter your pan well you could also use a quiche dish or a regular pie plate.
  • Whisk together the eggs, sweetener, cream, melted butter and vanilla.
  • In a smaller bowl stir together the almond flour, salt and spices.
  • Now sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet ones and keep whisking until well combined.
  • Pour over your prepared fruit and bake for 40 to 50 minutes until it is set in the centre and the top is a golden brown.
  • The clafoutis will slice a lot easier if you allow it to cool for about 20 or 30 minutes before serving.

I always use organic fruit so I don't peel it, just give it a good wash.  That way I'm getting all the benefits of the nutrients in the peel as well as in the fruit itself.

Feel free to play around with the amount of fruit you use.  If you want a cake that's mostly fruit you can double the amount called for.  On the other hand, if you are watching your carbs or following a Keto diet, use only half the amount.  This will still give you a taste of fruit but the majority of the cake will be butter, cream and eggs with a little nut flour - a healthy high fat recipe. 

Lastly, here is another tip worth considering. When I'm preparing my fruit, I always make sure I cut up a few extra portions and stash them in freezer bags in my freezer so I can enjoy this treat year round.  You haven't lived until you've had a warm slice of plum Clafoutis with a cup of hot tea in front of a roaring fire on a cold winter's day!

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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