Clafoutis Flan

Monday July 10, 2017

One of the latest Four Seasons opened a few years ago in Carlsbad, California, just north of San Diego.  The executive chef of the Four Seasons Resort Aviara, Pascal Vignau, is a native of France.  His pastry department’s version of clafoutis on their dessert menu is the most custardy of all and totally unctuous.  It is not unusual to see a clafoutis made with ricotta-like fromage blanc or tangy-smooth crème fraîche in France.  The flavorings and selection of fruit is based on the seasons and whim of the chef, with raspberries (nice) or fresh apricot halves (15 fresh) favorites.  The peaches and blueberries are my version.

Serves about 15

Ingredients

5 to 6 fresh peaches  (2 pounds)

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

2 pounds (four 8-ounce containers) crème fraîche

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon oil or 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

10 large eggs

Instructions

Preheat oven to 300º degrees.  Fill a large casserole with about one inch of hot water for a bain marie and place in the oven.

Peel the peaches by hand with a sharp paring knife.  Cut in half, remove the pit, and cut into thick slices.  Arrange the peaches in a single layer over the bottom of a 12-inch ceramic baking dish with 1 3/4- to 2-inch high sides or a clafoutis mold.  Sprinkle the spaces with the blueberries.  Set dish aside.

Combine the crème fraîche and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted

with a whisk attachment and beat until smooth.  Add the vanilla, lemon and 2 eggs; beat well.  Add the remaining eggs and mix on medium-high speed until ingredients are well combined, and mixture is foamy and uniform in color.

Pour the batter mixture, reserving about a cup or two, slowly over fruit in the baking dish, filling to just below the rim of the dish.  Carefully transfer the dish to the bain marie.  Gently ladle in the remaining batter, now filling to the rim and covering the fruit.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until custard is slightly puffy, set around the edges, yet still jiggly in the center.  A small knife inserted into the center will basically come out clean, but have a few small curds on it.  Remove from the bain marie onto a folded tea towel.  Cool for 2 hours before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours.  Serve large scoops on a dessert plate plain or with some fruit sauce on the side.

Excerpted from The Best Quick Breads, by Beth Hensperger. (c) 2000, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2017

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.


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