Saturday, April 12, 2008
Clafoutis, Obsessing About Obsessing
Do you ever think about things over and over and over again? No? Oh.
With that (not) in mind, I didn't see this a few weeks ago - this being a Clafoutis; I didn't see that picture in my head every day since, I didn't wonder what it tasted like, I didn't think about it's possible texture, I didn't wonder if it was moist, I didn't contemplate its level of sweetness, I didn't consider whether it might be more muffin-like or cake-like or other-worldly-like. I didn't think about the fact that it almost looked like cheese, like sweet cheese, but not like cheesecake. I didn't research the Clafoutis (cla-foo-tee) to find out just what in damnation I've been missing all these decades. I didn't think about it, really, from say...oh...March 26th until now. Nooooooooooooo, not me.
And then, nearly daily, I turn to those who know and love me and exclaim, all bewilderment - "WHY can't I sleep at night??!! WHY?" --- Indeed.
On one hand, this blog calms me because it has unclogged my creative artery - through writing, photography, cooking, reading, networking, learning - and has become an outlet for a bolus of previously stuck gunk. On the other hand - this unleashed inner blogstress energy is proving rather difficult to harness. Long-favored, but forever under-utilized, WORDS pouring forth from the netherfolds of my dormant brain - causing exponential increase in already ridiculous usage of post-it notes - notes stuffed everywhere containing words, phrases, recipes, ideas, concepts, food inspirations, food memories - waking up in the middle of the night to scrawl JACK DANIELS on a note - then reading it in the morning and having absolutely no freakin' idea how it may have related to a concept for the blog. JACK DANIELS?
Eeking poor Tony through all of the minutiae right along with me, which frankly, would make most people - lately - want to peel sticky-price-tags off of Christmas gifts all year long, rather than hang with me. I mean, comparing a food picture that is ostensibly, one centimeter different from the next picture - while it may be riveting for me - I suppose for Tony, it's akin to "Hey! Let's grab the Neti Pot for some nasal irrigation!" - ya know? But he nods and somehow tolerates all the newfound...creative brewery slash manic sleeplessness.
So, you do understand why I absolutely had to make the Clafoutis. AS IF I had a choice in it, please. Certain things fascinate me, then I become fascinated as to why they fascinate me - from there, I start to wonder why I'm always so intrigued by finding out the reason behind what fascinates us. At that point, I either cry uncontrollably or change medications.
By the way, this batter - is insane - I want to live in it. MEN, if you slather this batter all over your bodies - you will make sex slaves of your previously "Headache! On your own!" wives.
Le Clafoutis de Fanny's Grand-Mere
Back to the matter, or batter (oh! so clever!) at hand - you must make this. You could make this with one paw tied behind your back. This is sort of a French baked pancake - but sweeter than what we recognize as 'pancake'. It can be served as breakfast, or as a dessert - with a dollop of vanilla yogurt, ice cream, or whipped cream; syrup is not necessary at all. As suspected, the texture is dense, yet totally light - I can't really explain it properly, it was a new texture for me - and completely delicious. It does taste like a pancake - but the best dang pancake I've ever had. Toss in the blueberries - and we were in breakfast heaven this Sunday morning. And, don't forget to slather left-over batter all over your bodies.
3/4 c. + 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar, slightly heaping
pinch of salt
6 T butter, melted
8 oz. milk, full fat preferred (just don't use skim)
2 c. blueberries (cherries are the classic fruit used)
Preheat oven to 400F and generously butter an 11-inch tart pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. When the batter is smooth, mix in the melted butter. Then, working slowly, gradually add the milk, mixing well, so no lumps form. If needed, you may strain the batter through a sieve for added smoothness.
Scatter blueberries into the prepared pan and gently pour the batter over the fruit. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown, but firm on top. It may still be slightly wobbly in the center, but a tester inserted in the middle should come out clean. Serves 10.