All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Monday, June 20, 2011

sweet strawberry clafouti with black pepper and nutmeg

What a beautiful day it is! The sun is shining, the queen anne's lace is blooming, and it isn't so hot that I can't use the oven. I wandered the garden, picking pineapple sage here, and the last lemon lily there, and some sweet twiggy branches with tiny cherry colored blossoms - the first summer bouquet .

The strawberries were coming to room temperature on the counter, and instead of making meringues with whipped cream and strawberries, I pulled out my recipe for Julia's wonderful strawberry clafouti custard. 40 minutes later I was spooning it up with a happy hum, inhaling the scent of strawberries and nutmeg - and a last minute grind of fresh black pepper. The nutmeg and pepper are my own traditional additions to her classic dessert.

Makes four or five individual clafoutis, depending on ramekin size, or use one large shallow casserole dish.

To make:

1 1/2 cups light cream ( or use half cream, half milk)
1 T. good vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
3 medium or large eggs
pinch of kosher salt
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/2 cup all purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
about 2 cups trimmed and quartered strawberries
a few grinds of pepper

Butter the ovenproof dish or dishes you are using.
Preheat oven to 325F
In a blender, combine the milk/cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt,nutmeg, and flour. Whiz in the blender until well mixed.
Evenly divide the strawberries between the dish or dishes, then pour no more than 2 inches of batter over the berries.
Grind a little pepper on top of the mixture, and slip into the oven.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until custard is set and top is a very light golden brown.
Let cool, then serve as soon as the custard has cooled.
If not using right away, you can place in fridge, but sometimes there can be staining from the fruit, so it's best to make just before you plan to eat it.

Enjoy your day!


kellypea said...

It was gorgeous here yesterday -- perfectly clear and today we're completely socked in. I swear. Anyway, your day sounds lovely. I enjoy pottering around my patio looking at my plants. The lavender is blooming like crazy, and I've got some huge clover with beautiful violet blossoms. Your blossom almost looks like oleander, but I'm thinking it doesn't grow there, right? The clafouti would be great with my coffee right now.

katrina said...

Hi kelly - I think we got your weather! It's another beautiful, dry day, perfect walking weather. And I think I identified that plant as spreading dogbane, also know as Indian Hemp, as they used it for making rope. It is slightly poisonous ( nothing like oleander, than goodness) and is classified as an invasive. Yup. That it seems to be doing:) But it's just lovely, so it's forgiven. Enjoy your puttering!

Mumsie said...

As luck would have it, I had strawberries sitting here doing nothing today - so I put them to work in your clafouti recipe. I've now done a thorough job of taste testing & can say, without hesitation, that you've got a winner recipe here! Nice twist with the pepper too.
Thanks for posting!

katrina said...

Mumsie - thanks for the feedback, and I'm so delighted with your thumbs up!

Barb said...

Oh this looks so delicious!! I love strawberries - the MI strawberries are in season right now, so we are enjoying them while we can. (Strawberry season is SO short :( !)

katrina said...

So right, Barb! I don't even know if our NH berries are ripe yet - we've had so much rain and cold I'm thinking not, but then, I haven't been to any farmers markets recently, either. Life is so busy these days! Do you freeze strawberries? Good years, I've often done that, and nothing - nothing, compares to opening a bag of summer strawberries in January ♥

Barb said...

I have not frozen fresh strawberries - what do I need to do to them to make sure they hold up in the freezer until winter? Anything specific? I assume I can freeze them whole, but don't wash them? I can't think of anything more heavenly than fresh strawberries in the dead of winter.

Thanks for any advice, Katrina.

katrina said...

Barb - I never wash strawberries unless they're obviously dirty. I spread the hulled berries on a baking sheet and freeze, then put into freezer-strength plastic bags, or plastic containers. If using containers, fill to the top as excess air can cause freezer burn. Date and freeze and then, come January, you'll open the bag and smell summer!

Barb said...

Thanks, Katriina! I'm buying some this Sunday at my local farmer's market and into the freezer they go. Won't I be a smug little girl when I open them on a snowy January day??? Of course, I better buy some extra to eat right now, too!

katrina said...

Barb - you won't regret it! Just found out the farmstand near me has fresh strawberries in, but no UPick this year due to weather, so I plan to swoop in and scoop up -