A recipe YOU won’t mess up: Apricot Clafouti
A few years ago (and I won’t even try to guess how many it was–I keep thinking things happened a year or two ago, bu then when I really figure it out it is more like 5 or 8!), I came across what looked like a simple but elegant dessert in a Martha Stewart magazine: Cherry Clafouti. I had no idea what it was. I didn’t even know how to pronounce it. But I had cherries, and it looked too easy not to try.
Interestingly, it wasn’t at all what I thought it was going to be but I liked it. Oddly, I never made it again. Then paging through the dessert section (you know, my favorite section) of my newly re-discovered favorite cookbook, Meditteranean Harvest, I saw Apricot Clafouti. There it was again: that word I couldn’t pronounce. And it was apricot season. In fact, I had just bought some local Blenheims on sale at our local grocery that week. I’d been trying to dial back my baking a bit as our sugar consumption was spiraling out of control, but I thought this recipe warranted the re-opening of the sugar container. I could call it a breakfast treat (Shulman even says to serve it for breakfast in her “leftovers” note, so I felt supported in this).
This is the easiest recipe. Really. Okay. Somehow I managed to mess up twice (twice!) in making it, but I know you wouldn’t do that. No one would. Because it is so easy! This is the kind of recipe you can commit to memory and whip up with little to no utensils. Some fruit (soaked in amaretto, but probably could go in unadulterated) placed in a dish. Eggs, milk, sugar, and flour (and a bit of vanilla) mixed up and poured over the fruit. Bake. Eat. See, nothing to it. Unless you’re me. Then, somehow, you forget to add the sugar to the apricots while they’re macerating (even though you know that and do it all the time for strawberry shortcake). Then, even though it is out on the counter, you forget to mix in the milk. And you don’t remember until it is in the oven, and you turn around and see it still on the counter. How odd, you think, I don’t remember any milk in this recipe. Quick look to the recipe. Even quicker grab into the oven to pull out the dish. Messy sloshing of batter back into bowl to add milk (apricots all gooed). Back into the oven.
But even with all my mishaps, this still turned out well. It looks odd, there is no doubt. My son, Mr. Sweet Tooth himself who wanders in to the kitchen every time he smells anything hoping it is dessert, thought the apricots were egg yolks and almost declined a piece. Looking at the picture, I have to remind myself they are not. But looks aside, it is delicious. It actually reminds me a bit of dutch babies (no surprise, almost identical ingredients and cooking method), and I think it would actually be very nice as a sweet breakfast.
In case you want to try it (sans odd mishaps I know won’t happen to you), here’s the recipe. And if anyone knows how to pronounce it can you PLEASE let me know. I don’t want to go around saying it incorrectly like I always do with nicoise (even though people keep correcting me).
adapted from Mediterranean Harvest
1 lb apricots, halved and pitted
2 Tbsp Amaretto
7 Tbsp granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup low-fat milk or buttermilk (I used milk)
1 Tbsp powdered sugar (optional)
1. Toss apricots in Amaretto and 2 Tbspns of sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain liquid and reserve.
2. Preheat oven to 375. Butter ceramic tart pan or clafouti dish (there is such a thing?). Arrange drained apricots in dish, rounded side up.
3. Beat eggs with remaining sugar and vanilla extract until sugar is dissolved. Add a pinch of salt and the liquid fromt eh apricots and compbine well. Slowly beat in flour and which until smooth. Add themilk and combine well. Pour over the apricots.
4. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is browned and the clafouti is firm and puffed (it seems like mine cooked quicker, maybe 20-25 minutes, but that could have been because of my multiple mishaps). Press gently on the top to see if it is firm; if not, return to the oven for 5 minutes. cool, then serve warm or at room temp sprinkled with powdered sugar.