Apricot Rhubarb Clafoutis and the very nice, really good day
Today has been a very good day. Today I cleaned out my old car to hand down to my little sister, and inherited a significantly newer one from my mother (a 2005 red Pontiac Vibe, if you must know), who just bought an even newer one. I now have a car I can pack a ton of stuff into for my move out east, and so far, it hasn’t cost me a dime (Thankyouthankyouthankyou, parents!!!).
I also received some lovely mail today: the latest issue of Gourmet, and my acceptance letter to the graduate program in Public History at U Albany!
And, to top of a particularly lovely day with something even lovelier and sweeter, I made apricot rhubarb clafoutis. I adapted it from a recipe stolen from Orangette. The original called for black plums, but I substituted mostly ripe fresh apricots and probably about a cup of chopped rhubarb tossed in sugar to coat. In case you didn’t know, clafoutis is a French dessert (traditionally made with cherries) that is eggy and custardy and reminiscent of flan, minus the caramel sauce. The egg custard is sweet and creamy and is a nice complement to the not-so-sweet apricots and rhubarb (ironically, the apricots were less sweet than the sugar-coated rhubarb, but both were very nice).
Here’s my version of the recipe:
2 apricots, pitted and cut into 1/8ths
1 cup sliced rhubarb
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for tossing with rhubarb
1 cup skim milk (the original calls for whole, but skim worked just fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (again, original calls for 1 1/2, but I thought it was plenty vanilla-y with just one teaspoon)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly butter a 9″ pie dish (I used glass, which worked very well). Arrange the apricots skin-side down in an even (and, if you like, pretty) pattern. Toss rhubarb in enough sugar to coat (better to err on the side of too much sugar, in my opinion) and sprinkle over/between the apricots. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl until the mixture turns pale yellow (appx. 1 min. whisking) and is well combined (there should be no bits of yolk or white floating around). Add milk, vanilla, and salt, and whisk to combine. Sprinkle flour into mixture a little at a time and whisk until smooth. Pour batter gently over fruit (it will float around a little). Bake 45-50 minutes or until puffled and golden brown (I did 50 mins. and it puffed, but never got quite golden brown, just golden. Don’t overcook or you may burn the bottom or end up with a tough custard). Let cool for 20-30 minutes. The clafoutis will deflate quite a bit, but don’t worry, it’s supposed to. When cool or when the pie plate can be touched without burning yourself, cut into 6-8 pieces and serve warm or at room temp. Original recipe calls for serving with powdered sugar, but is yummy plain and would be good with ice cream or whipped cream.
When I make it again (soon, probably, since it’s so easy and inexpensive and only uses one bowl!), I will make only rhubarb and put a little cinnamon in the batter, which would make it more reminiscent of kuchen, I guess, but I like kuchen. : D
I was wanting to make something rhubarb-y (but NOT rhubarb crisp!) for a while, and this was a lovely way to do it! I also made rhubarb sauce, which is super easy! Here’s my recipe:
4 parts chopped rhubarb : 1 part sugar
Add rhubarb to saucepan and cook until mushy and thickened (with early spring rhubarb, which is always super-juicy, this takes a while). IMPORTANT: do not add the sugar until the rhubarb is fully cooked. This apparently helps the rhubarb from getting stringy. So, add the sugar at the end, cook a little longer, and let cool. It will thicken when cooled. Serve immediately over ice cream, cake, yoghurt, cottage cheese, or as jam on bread or toast. Put remaining sauce in a glass container (old spaghetti sauce or jam jars work well) and store in the fridge. Can freeze or be canned as well.
Absolutely fantastic on vanilla ice cream. Which we are currently out of. Hmmm…. may have to remedy that tomorrow.
Anyway, I thought rhubarb was a perfectly lovely way to end a perfectly lovely day!