Tag Archives: eggs

Cherry Clafoutis with Coconut Milk

When I went to buy fruit for the blueberry crumble of a few days ago, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to use, so I came home with blueberries, peaches, and Bing cherries (not named for the crooner). Even though it seems soon for another dessert, those cherries were expensive and wouldn’t last forever, so I decided on another clafoutis with coconut milk, but I chose a different recipe as base, mostly because the batter is made in the blender.

After stemming and pitting the 2.5 lbs of cherries—and regretting not wearing gloves—it was incredibly simple to whip up the batter and get it into the oven. Luckily, we aren’t having the high humid temperatures of the last few days, so the oven didn’t overheat the house. I had 5 cups of pitted cherries and used 3 cups for the clafoutis. I’ll use the remaining 2 cups in a savory cherry sauce to eat with our next grilled pork dish.

I started with this recipe from Saveur, and then I made only a minor change or two, including using a rectangular baking dish. Unlike the pear clafoutis I made not long ago, this one uses 6 eggs, and that has a wonderful effect on the final dough. It’s eggy like the center of a baked cream puff before you pull out those moist strands to fill it. I like that most clafoutis recipes are low in sugar—this one uses only 3/8 cup for a dish that serves eight. Very unlike the blueberry crumble that I could only eat in tiny amounts.

I’m still looking for stray drops of cherry juice splatter

Cherry Clafoutis with Coconut Milk

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Adapted from Saveur “Cherry Clafoutis”: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Cherry-Clafoutis

Preheat oven to 425°; butter a dish that holds about 8 cups of batter with room to rise. The original recipe suggests a 9″ skillet; my 11″ x 7″ dish worked well and is about 4 inches high.

Ingredients
  • butter to grease baking dish
  • 1 1/4 cups full fat coconut milk
  • 3/8 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups pitted Bing cherries
Preparation
  1. Combine coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and salt in blender just for a few seconds.
  2. Add the flour and blend for 1 minute or until smooth.
  3. Distribute 3 cups of cherries, or however many will fit in one layer, in bottom of baking dish.
  4. Pour batter over cherries and bake for 30 minutes until puffed and golden.

Lightly sweet, eggy and tart, this is a wonderful summer dessert to highlight ripe cherries.

 

Pear Clafoutis with Coconut Milk

Still looking at ways to get around using dairy with lactose, whether in desserts or main dishes. Coconut milk comes in handy as a substitute in desserts, and I find the coconut taste mild enough that it doesn’t interfere with and can even enhance certain foods. The full fat coconut milk is also a good substitute for cream, as in today’s clafoutis.

Clafoutis is a kind of custard-meets-genoise with embedded fresh fruit, using not too much sugar and not too much flour—those are the two things I’m concerned with, while my husband can’t handle the lactose. I’m starting with Ina Garten’s recipe, leaving out the lemon zest and pear brandy in favor of the coconut flavor. I wish I had a prettier dish for it, but the old Pyrex pie dish will have to do, so I’ll try to compensate with a pretty design of the fruit slices.

I could have wished for pears that were just a little more ripe—probably just waiting until tomorrow would have been enough. It seems with pears they are either too ripe or not ripe enough at any given moment. Still, it came out as planned and is a wonderfully light dessert with which to highlight your favorite fruit, including the traditional cherry.

Pear Clafouti with Coconut Milk

  • Servings: one 10 inch round dessert
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 375°; butter a 10″ round baking dish or pie plate with sides of at least 1 1/2″ and dust with granulated sugar.

1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon sugar for preparing baking dish

1/3 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs

3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups unsweetened full fat coconut milk—Do not shake the can first. Scoop out the fat at the top of the can and then add enough of the remaining milk in the can to make up the required amount.

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 large, ripe Bartlett pears

  1. Beat the eggs and sugar for about 3 minutes with a hand or stand mixer.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients on low speed. Set aside while you prepare the pears.
  3. Peel, core, and slice the pears, either vertically or horizontally (I did both). Arrange the pears in the prepared baking dish in any design you like or no design at all.
  4. Pour the batter over the pears and bake for about 35 minutes. Let cool a bit, then slice or scoop out with a large spoon. I tried to keep my pear arrangement intact in serving, but that’s not really important. I would just as soon have it in a bowl.

I suppose you will want to garnish it, but I think you get more of an appreciation of the custard-like cake without any further additions.

What I Don’t Know About Brownies. . . .

What I don’t know or understand about brownies could fill a cookbook. I have no interest in eating one, and I have never received high marks for the ones I’ve made. Looking at a brief comparison of four recipes shows one reason I might be excused for my incompetence:

Brownies

People can’t even agree on the ratio of butter to flour, even when two of the recipes come from the same chef. And moving between those baked in 8″ square or 9″ x 13″ pans, you still can’t figure out how or why the ratios change.

Probably, you just found your favorite recipe once and stuck to it. Me? I have just avoided making brownies. I do have one post on this site that reviews a packaged brownie mix that turned out very well, but I haven’t made any from scratch since then. So, I can’t answer why I’m putting myself through the torture of making brownies from scratch, again, but here I am. The good news is that my husband will eat them even if he thinks they aren’t premium.

To save myself the further headache of trying to create a new recipe from these 4, I’m just going to take the first recipe in the list and double it for a 9″ x 13″ pan, with a few changes:

  • I bought semi-sweet instead of unsweetened chocolate, mostly because I don’t think straight when I buy chocolate
  • I’m leaving out the baking powder—I don’t like it in banana bread, so why would I use it here?
  • Most of the recipes use pecans, but I’m using walnuts
  • And, of course, I added salt

Surprisingly, these brownies were dubbed “Quite a brownie—chewy, fudgy, and with frosting.” Maybe I should save this recipe.

Fudgy Frosted Brownies

  • Servings: 24 2-inch brownies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • The brownies are adapted from The Martha Stewart Cookbook (1995) “Iced Brownies.”
  • The frosting is from Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book (1961) “Creamy Cocoa Icing.”

Preheat oven to 350°; butter a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. I used a dark pan and the edges were pretty dark, but not burned. Stewart suggests a glass dish.

Brownies

2 sticks butter

4 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate

2 cups sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups walnuts, barely chopped

  1. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler, then set aside.
  2. In large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
  3. Pour in butter and chocolate and mix until combined. I used a hand mixer.
  4. Continue mixing, adding eggs and vanilla, until well combined. It makes a glossy batter.
  5. Stir in nuts.
  6. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick in the center.
  7. Cool in pan, then frost and cut in 24 or more squares.

Creamy Cocoa Icing

2 2/3 cups confectioners sugar (I did not sift mine and it turned out fine)

1/3 cup cocoa

1/3 cup soft butter

4-5 tablespoons milk

Mix all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. I used a large spoon, but I’m sure a mixer would be quicker.

Links to the compared recipes from the web:

Best Ever Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Brownies

Fudge-Topped Brownies

Martha Stewart’s “Iced Brownies” (not available online, see image below)

IMG_5656

 

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Banana Bread

I’m taking my go-to banana bread recipe and making a few changes—tasty changes, I hope:

  • Instead of 2 cups of all purpose flour, I’m using 1 cup of that with 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of oatmeal—more fiber
  • For the shortening, that I always interpreted as butter, I’m using extra virgin coconut oil—good flavor, but the jury is still out on heart health
  • The 1 cup of sugar is always a problem. I’ve never been happy with the blends that use less sugar in baking, but I’m still on that search. In this batch, I’m substituting brown sugar, which I hope will keep this batch, with all it’s whole grains, moist. To avoid eating too much sugar, I’ll do what I always do, freeze the bread in servings to assure I only eat one a day. I do this successfully with muffins, one of which makes a nice lunch.
  • I’m adding a full cup of chopped walnuts, roughly chopped for large pieces.

Well, that was yesterday. I wrapped the cool loaf to sit overnight and develop its flavors—this really happens. I cut the large loaf into 8 thick slices and wrapped them individually for the freezer, leaving one out for breakfast. This might be my new go-to banana bread. The banana taste was prominent, the bread moist and chunky with walnuts. The oats added a chewiness, and while I couldn’t pick out the whole wheat flour, it must have added its own characteristics to the bread. Finally, I think the brown sugar played a large part in the overall flavor.

And I still assert that the best banana bread recipes do not use baking powder, which adds a bitterness with banana.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Banana Bread

  • Servings: 1 large or 2 small loaves
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 350°; butter and flour 1 9″ x 5″ or 2 8″ x 4″ loaf pans.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Beat in

  • 2 eggs

Add

  • 2 large or 3 small ripe bananas, mashed or broken into chunks

Stir in the dry ingredients and nuts

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts

Pour batter into the prepared pans. Bake the large loaf for about 55 minutes, the smaller loaves for 45-50 minutes. Test the center with a toothpick for doneness.