Friday, June 10, 2011

Cooking with Ryan: Peach Clafoutis

Peach Clafoutis may or may not be an Italian actress. OK, so it's not. But it is a French desert that is typically made with cherries. The Food Network recipe I found had the fruit as peach and cranberries, so I went with that. What is clafoutis? It's a fruit mixture baked into a "flan like" batter. I happened to make it in ramekins rather than a pie tin or anything like that, so there were 6 different clafoutis. I have no idea how to pluralize that.
The fruit filling was, as I said, peach and cranberries, but I threw in a little mint as well as sugar and pepper. The batter was flour, eggs, milk and vanilla. Oh, and the vanilla was fresh, not vanilla extract. That was pretty cool. You extract vanilla, if you were wondering, by splitting the pod open and scraping out the seeds.
As they were cooking and eventually cooling, my entire house smelled like vanilla. My hands still smell like vanilla. The clafouti smelled like vanilla. I was expecting a peach smell, obviously, but this was not the case. After smelling the vanilla, I was expecting it to taste overwhelmingly of vanilla. This was also not the case. With big chunks of fruit, you tasted the fruit (the cranberries were really good) and the batter now baked, tasted like pound cake, which I wasn't expecting, but I didn't really know what to expect. The most surprising result was the aftertaste. The pepper clung to big chunks of fruit through the baking process, and ended up being really assertive. I've never had a savory flavor so strong in a desert before, but I found that I didn't mind it. Here they are.... I dusted confectioners sugar on them before serving.

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