By Stacy Harris
Love at first bite. That is the way I would describe the first taste of my freshly prepared strawberry clafoutis. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday a couple of years ago, and I had an abundance of strawberries growing near my herb garden. I had read recently about this delicious dessert and remembered that it looked quite simple. I gathered up my strawberries and prepared my own version of this lovely dish in what seemed like no time at all.
Clafoutis (pronounced klah-foo-tee) is a baked French dessert originating in France during the 19th century. Traditionally made with black cherries, the dish is now often made with other, equally wonderful fruits. In addition to strawberries, I have tried pears, peaches, blackberries, raspberries, and cranberries, and every time I end up with an amazing dish.
To make clafoutis, the fruit of choice is first arranged in a buttered dish. A mixture that seems to me a cross between flan and a pancake-like batter is poured over the top of the fruit, then the whole thing is baked. It’s that simple, yet ever so tasty and gorgeous.
It’s not just for dessert, either. My family loves to have clafoutis for breakfast, and that’s a great thing. I can prepare this dish in less than five minutes, then leave the rest of the work to the oven. There aren’t many dishes that I can say that about!
This time of year, I always turn to strawberries for my clafoutis filling. Not only are they delicious, but they’re packed full of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins — especially vitamin C. Almonds add more fiber and antioxidants, plus a wonderful crunchy texture, to the mix.
There really is no way to go wrong when preparing Strawberry Almond Clafoutis. Some folks make it with more or less flour, depending on their taste. I hope this will grace your table all strawberry season long. (And if you have leftover strawberries, use them to make another mouthwatering dessert: homemade Strawberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.)
Strawberry Almond Clafoutis
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/4 cup milk
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla or almond extract (I like almond)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Powdered sugar, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with the butter and sprinkle with a little sugar. Toss strawberries in the cornstarch and arrange berries, cut side down, in the baking dish.
Using a blender, mix the milk, sugar, eggs, extract, salt, and flour for about 15 seconds. Pour batter over the strawberries. Sprinkle almonds over the top of mixture.
Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until puffy and golden brown, and set in the center. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.
Stacy Harris is pioneering the farm-to-fork eating movement that includes harvesting wild animals in addition to domesticated animals and homegrown fruits and vegetables. She’s the author of several books about sustainable living for healthy families, including her most recent release, Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living. For more recipes like this check out her website at GameandGarden.com and her Facebook page.