Plum Flaugnarde (Clafoutis)

It is plum season in our neck of the woods (Midwest) right now. Whenever plums show up at the farmers’ market, I can feel the summer is about to come to an end. This is my last chance to indulge in summer fruits so please join me. Oh no not just with any dish … I’m going to say farewell to summer … with a French dish.

This is a fruity dish that is made with a thick flan like batter baked in a buttered dish. Traditionally, it is made with cherries and is called cherry clafoutis or simply clafoutis in French but when made with any other harder fruits like plums, it is called flaugnarde. So technically, this dish is called flaugnarde. It was made in France first, more exactly in Limousine, in the central region of France.

Clafoutis is a simple rustic dish. It is not meant to be beautiful, delicate looking like what you expect a French dessert to be but it is more of a peasant food. So go ahead and pack your dish with the plums, berries and the batter, don’t need to worry about the appearance that much … Also, it is like a crepe just thicker and you should have all the main ingredients in your kitchen already … milk, flour, butter, eggs, sugar … and I think it is a lot tastier than crepes …

Please also check out my plum gnocchi receipe if interested.

RECIPE

Serves 4-6 people

Ingredients

  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg for the plums + 1/8 tsp for the batter
  • 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp dried ginger, cut and sifted or use 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 9 pieces of smaller plums, less if bigger
  • 1/3 cup sweet berries
  • 3 Tbsp cognac or brandy (optional)
  • 1/2 sugar, divided
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup of milk
  • 1/3 cup ceam (I have used kefir before too)
  • 2/3 cup of flour
  • 1 tbsp almond extract
  • handfull of almond slivers
  • pinch of salt
  • powdered sugar for serving

Preperation

Preheat oven to 350F. Place the rack in the middle of the oven.

For the batter, mix milk, cream, eggs, almond extract, salt, 2 Tbsp – 1/4 cups of sugar, 1/8 tsp nutmeg and 1 Tbsp melted butter with a mixer on high speed quickly and add the flour and continue mixing for another minute. Make sure there are no clumps left but do not overbeat. You can use a whisk, handheld mixer or blender. (Yeap kind of like a crepe mixture). Set aside for an hour if you have time.

Cut up the plums and take out the pitts. (I leave the pitts in). Put plums in a medium sized bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of sugar and the brandy (optional) on the plums. Give it a toss. Let plums macarate for about 10 minutes. Then add berries, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to the plums. Mix. Set aside.

Use a 10″ inch baking dish (like a quiche dish). You need a dish that has a larger surface area and will hold 6 cups of food. Pour in the melted butter and spread it evenly on the surface of the dish making sure that you coat the sides too.

Evenly spread the plum mixture from earlier on the buttered surface. (I added the marinate liquid, too).

Pour batter (from earlier) over the plum mixture and sprinkle the top with the shaved almonds.

Bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until cake is puffy and has a nice light brown color. An inserted tooth pick should come out clean but the middle should be soft. The texture of the baked clafoutis should be like a study custard.

Let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.

When ready to serve, sprinkle powdered sugar on top. Serve warm.

It can be stored in the refrigerator covered for 24 hours but best eaten the same day.

enjoy! Bon appetite!

Recipe, photos, text by twincitiesherbs.com.

Oatmeal pancakes

This is a recipe that I borrowed from my daughter. She has been making it for herself so she doesn’t have to eat my pancakes. Then I realized it is actually good. The pancakes are very simple but nutritious and delicious. Basic ingredients are oatmeal, eggs, bananas … oatmeal, eggs, bananas … oatmeal, eggs, bananas … that is it and just add a few things to make it taste better. Of course, this is a very kid friendly recipe.

Dairy free and gluten free with the substitution of gluten-free oats. 

RECIPE

Serving: generous portion for 1 adult

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of old fashioned oatmeal, coarsely ground (use gluten-free for gluten free version)
  • 1 1/2 crushed ripe banana
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, I used apple spice (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • lemon zest (optional)
  • oil for baking
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • syrup of your choice
  • fruits (optional)

Preparation

  • Lightly beat eggs in a medium sized bowl.
  • Mash the banana and add to the bowl.
  • Add 1/2 cup of oatmeal to a blender and blend until you get a coarse flour consistency. Add to the bowl.
  • Add baking soda, cinnamon, lemon zest, salt. Mix.
  • Just like any other grains, I like to let the mixture soak for a few hours but it can be baked right away.
  • Bake in a preheated oiled pan on medium low heat on both sides for 3-4 minutes. Flip over and bake for a few minutes. Both sides should be nice and golden brown in color.
  • You can add fruits on top of the pancakes while baking in the pan.
  • Serve with fruits, nuts and syrup.

enjoy!

Source: unknown

Photo, text by twincitiesherbs.com

Buckwheat pancakes with Rhubarb sauce

Surprise your mom for breakfast with these delicious, healthy pancakes for Mothers’ Day or just treat yourself any time.

This naturally gluten-free pancake recipe is the successful marriage of the traditional American buttermilk pancakes and the Russian buckwheat pancakes (blini). I wanted to replace the white flour with something healthy and then I remembered the Russian pancakes and started experimenting. Let’s face it, white flour is tasty but is not very nutritious or filling. Furthermore, many of the flour alternatives can be also lesser quality. So after using buckwheat over the years, I decided to experiment and see how it would do here. I have to say the result quickly became a family favorite. 

Buckwheat is an ancient plant but has been forgotten. It has recently become a popular food again in the West because it lacks gluten that causes gastrointestinal problems in so many people. It is a staple in Russia, in fact, the Russians have survived on it for centuries. Eating buckwheat might have been their secret. So why should we eat buckwheat on a regular basis? Even if there is no crisis, buckwheat can be included in our diet as it is incredibly healthy and nourishing. It is not a grain but it is the seed of the buckwheat plant and does not cause digestive problems like wheat does but it actually nourishes the digestive tract.

Let’s look at its energetics. Its neutral thermal nature and sweet flavor are an indication that it is a tonic food. It is rich in protein (13g). It has also intestine cleansing and strengthening and appetite improving ability.  Rutin, a bioflavonoid in the grain strengthens the capillaries and blood vessels, hinders hemorrhaging, decreases blood pressure, and promotes circulation in the hands and feet. Rutin also has the ability to protect against radiation. 

To improve the texture, I added tapioca pearls.  The trick is to grind both grains before you make the pancakes. It is worth it! The store-bought flours yield a lesser quality for sure. You can get the tapioca flour ready ground instead of grinding it yourself if your grinder isn’t strong enough but the store-bought buckwheat flour is too bitter.  Another trick/personal preference is when you grind the grains, leave the flour a little coarse. This gives the pancakes a bit of texture. Try not to grind too long though.

In the spring, I like to serve the pancakes with rhubarb sauce. The rhubarb stems are great in the spring.  It is the first fruit, oops I meant to say vegetable here. Yes people often think it is a fruit because of its fruity, sour taste but it is in fact a vegetable. I can’t believe I get excited about rhubarb but it is really the first new plant that shows up at the farmers market in the Midwest. While it is not a fruit, it can be prepared with sugar to –kind of cheat- make them be like they are fruits.  Rhubarb has favorable health effects as it is cooling and detoxifying to the liver.  (Just on the side, I will have a rhubarb cobbler recipe soon posted when the berries are ready. Please check back). 

EDIT: I have been trying to figure out how to balance the sourness of the rhubarb. As I mentioned before I got the recipe straight out of the cookbook Joy of Cooking but there is something missing. I can’t believe I didn’t come up with this earlier. So I added a little fresh chopped ginger root, orange peel and sprinkled it with a little cinnamon powder and salt. It did the trick so I will add these ingredients to the recipe now.

The PANCAKE RECIPE

What you need

  • 2 cups of freshly grounded buckwheat groats
  • 1 cup of freshly ground tapioca pearls
  • 2 cups of fresh buttermilk or powder would work too
  • 2 cups of milk (use only 1 cup of milk if using already ground tapioca flour)
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 whole eggs.- lightly beaten (at room temperature)
  • 3 Tbsp of melted butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • sugar (optional)
  • oil for the pan (I like to use ghee but sunflower or grapeseed oils are fine too)

ground tapoica

Ground buckwheat

Directions

  • Grind buckwheat and tapioca. Put them in a large bowl. 
  • Add the buttermilk and let the mixture sit overnight but at least for 4 hours.
  • Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, corn starch.  I like to add these right before I make the pancakes.
  • Have a bowl ready.
  • Melt butter in a heavy bottom pot and add to the bowl.
  • Wisk eggs. You can beat egg whites separate if you want to make pancakes fluffier.  Add to the bowl.
  • Add milk to the bowl.
  • Mix together and when ready add this mixture to the grains from earlier.
  • Blend batter using a wooden spoon. Stir only until it’s just blended. Do not over stir!
  • Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium heat. You can flicker water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it’s ready!
  • Poor or scoop the batter onto the baking pan, using approximately 1/3 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
  • Serve with your choice of yoghurt, rhubarb sauce, maple syrup, nuts, fruits, jam etc. 

The RHUBARB RECIPE

What you need

  • 4 cups of rhubarb stalks (Choose firm stalks that are not wilted).  
  • ¼ – ½ cup of sugar (can omit if sugar is an issue)
  • little salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger root (finally chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp orange peel
  • cinnamon powder + freshly graded nutmeg – (I use apple spice from penzeys.com)

Preparation

  • Wash and trim the top greens off.
  • Cut into 1 inch pieces lengthwise. If the stalks are wide (more than 1 ½ inches), slice them lengthwise in half.
  • Put rhubarb and sugar in a smaller pot for about 15 minutes or until the rhubarb exudes some juice.  No need to add water! Add also the ginger and orange peel.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
  • Reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until the rhubarb is tender and the liquid thickened. (10-15 minutes).
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Let it cool for 15 minutes, the sauce will thicken as it cools.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Keeps in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • (This recipe is straight out of the cookbook Joy of Cooking).

enjoy!

Sources

Written by twincitiesherbs.com