My dear, poor, non-French people,
Here is a chance for you all to learn some of my beautiful native language. Want to say Summer in French? It’s very easy.
Repeat after me.
Ok, Clafoutis does not exactly mean summer, (actually, in ancient French in means nailed!) but for most of my French and perfect friends, it’s a synonym.
Just hearing the word instantly takes me a few years ago, to the garden of my childhood home, back there in Loir-et-Cher.
Summer is on, my brother is pretending he’s a cow-boy using the gardenhose as a lasso, I’ve just finished reading the new adventures of Fantomette (best action hero ever, a French and perfect school girl who becomes a masked righter of wrongs at night), my mom is back from work, and she sends me to pick some raspberries.
Picking raspberries is almost as excruciating as picking cherries in June. You eat one for two you put in the bowl, chat about the day while the sun is setting in pink and blue over the house and the guernazelles (small frogs) start singing their night song.
C’est la vie mon p’tit!
That’s when my mom’s magic happened.
She took the framboises transformed them into an incredible dessert faster than it took Fantomette to put her yellow and red suit on.
Clafoutis was on the menu…
Le Clafoutis de l’été
12 oz raspberries (or berries, or cherries)
1 cup flour
1/2 a cup sugar
1cup and a 1/2 milk
3 1/2 ounces (100g) butter
Sorry to brag, my poor non-French people, but once again, this recipe is a great proof of the superiority of French and perfect women in the cuisine (and elsewhere): it’s quick to make, easy, quite healthy, pretty and… Yummy!
The hardest part for me was to get my mom’s exact recipe.
Not that she didn’t want to give it.
But she always had the same answer:
“C’est simple! Je fais au pif!”
“It’s easy! I make it with my nose!”
(Yes, my family has sometimes be linked to Cyrano’s -my grand father had the largest nose in the country, far behind General de Gaulle’s – , but that doesn’t mean she used her nose to cook of course: it means she cooked by instinct. Or by eye? I guess it’s an eye for a nose for this translation!).
So after a lot of tests and many pounds more on my fiancé’s scale
(French and perfect trick: the best way not to gain weight is to have your partner finish your plate!), here’s is the best way to make the clafoutis de l’été.
- Warm the oven at 350°F
- Whip the eggs with the sugar : they have to turn pale, almost white
- Add the flour
- Warm the milk
- Incise a vanilla bean and put it in the milk (I also use vanilla seeds, 1 or 2 tbsp, or vanilla sugar)
- Set the milk to a boil, and stop it as soon as it boils
- Let the butter melt in the warm milk
- Mix the milk and buter with flour and eggs and sugar
- Butter a large baking dish
- Spread some sugar all over the buttered dish. Move it so that a small sugar coat is created all over the dish
- Spread the raspberries (or other fruits) on the dish
- Then pour the milk/eggs/butter/sugar mix in the dish
- Put in the oven for 45 minutes
My favourite moment is listening to the music the cake makes when you take it out of the oven! Délicieux!
Now I have to tell you that my clafoutis recipe will upset a lot of my French and perfect friends:
Clafoutis is traditionnally made with cherries.
You can make this recipe with cherries too, it’s also French and perfect.
But I like cherry clafoutis better with sour cherries, and it’s very hard to find them here. So I’d rather bake it with rasberries. The great thing is that you can use frozen ones, and have summer in your kitchen all year long!
Then, if you really want to go for the real deal, you can make the traditional clafoutis with unpitted cheries! It’s supposed to taste better. And it’s diet: you spend so much time paying attention to not swallow a pit, that it takes you longer to eat…
You can’t stuff yourself with the entire cake in a second!
A bientôt les amis!
Best song to listen while you bake the framboise (raspberry) clafoutis: This great song by French and perfect singer Bobby Lapointe “Avanie et Framboise”.
It’s about a girl everybody calls Framboise. So full of puns of words and cultural jokes that it’s impossible to translate! Bobby Lapointe was a crazy talented and funny French artist.
This song is part of a great movie, “Shoot the pianist“, by French and perfect director François Truffaut. The main actor is another great French singer, Charles Aznavour. You can see him in the clip.