Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pluot Clafouti

This week for Sweet Melissa Sundays the very sweet Michelle at Flour Child picked Plum Clafoutis with Almonds as our treat to try from Melissa Murphy's book The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. I was excited to give this recipe a try. Clafouti or clafoutis have been on my radar for years and I've had quite a few clafouti recipes book marked but never got around to making one until this week for SMS.

The recipe calls for plums which are sauteed in butter with cinnamon and sugar before being added to the clafouti batter (which is a kind of a mix between a custard and crepe batter). I was planning to pick up some plums at Sam's Club when I saw these Dinosaur Egg Pluots, a plum apricot hybrid that is supposed to be really sweet, so I had to give them a shot. They are in a little plastic container and I didn't touch them before I got home and then realized they were really soft and probably a day away from being over ripe. They were kind of hard to cut without squashing them all up, and there was no way they would hold up to being sauteed without turning to mush. So, I added the sugar, butter, and cinnamon that they should be sauteed with right into the clafouti batter and just gently placed the pluots in after pouring the batter into my cast iron skillet.

The recipe calls for a 10 inch cast iron skillet and even though my skillet measures in at 10 inches it must be super small or something, because I halved the recipe (ready to use my mini 6 inch skillet) and half of this recipe fits perfectly into my 10 inch skillet -- way too much for the 6 inch. There is no way the called for amount of filling would work in mine, I'm thinking maybe it has shallow sides or something? I don't know really, it looks pretty standard to me, oh-well.

before baking

Baking time on this is 30 minutes and at that time mine was far from done. I ended up baking a total of 45 minutes, but think an extra 5 or 10 minutes would have benefited my clafouti since my pluots were so soft and juicy. I believe the traditional French clafouti is made with cherries and they would have been perfect in this one. Even though the juicy pluots left my clafouti a tad bit softer in the middle than I believe it should be, it was still absolutely delicious.

the clafouti poufs up a lot in the oven but settles down once it is out

I especially loved the crunch from the almonds and the combo of textures in this. I was a little worried at first because I do not like "eggy" dishes, but this one did not taste eggy to me at all, a little custardy, but I think that's how it is supposed to be. I am eager to try some other clafouti recipes, since I really loved this one. Picky husband would not try it, and the kids had mixed reviews -- my 5 year old loved it, my 4 year old had one bite and was not interested, and my 3 year old ate all of his and seemed to enjoy it.

definitely rustic looking

I adapted this recipe quite a bit so I am going to share how I made it...pretty much a halved recipe from the original except for the flour, longer baking time, skim milk instead of whole milk and cream, and skipping the saute step.

Pluot Clafouti
adapted from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book
original recipe here at Michelle's blog

3 pluots, sliced into wedges
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup milk (I used skim, since that's what we keep on hand)
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sliced almonds
powdered sugar and whipped cream to serve

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 10 inch cast iron skilled with cooking spray with added flour.
Whisk together eggs, sugar, almond, milk, and cinnamon.
Whisk in milk and cooled melted butter, add pluots and gently pour into skillet.
Sprinkle sliced almonds around the edges of the clafouti batter.
Bake for 45 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool about 10-15 minutes.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart

Time for Tuesdays with Dorie! Thank you to Rachel of sweet tarte who picked Dorie's Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart as our treat of the week. You can find the recipe here at Rachel's blog if you do not have Baking From My Home To Yours.

The recipe starts with Dorie's Sweet Tart Dough with Nuts, I used almonds, since they were featured in the recipe. I've used this dough quite a few times with different nuts and it always turns out lovely, I think my favorites are pistachio and macadamia in this dough. You pre-bake this crust, I did about 20 minutes at 375.

Then you add your peaches. Next comes a custard and here's where I made my first little change to the recipe. This tart calls for heavy cream in the custard and I was fresh out, using the last I had to make a delicious alfredo the other night. I decided not to run out to the store for more cream and use cream cheese (softened) since I had plenty of that (thank you Sam's Club). I used 1/2 cup cream cheese instead of the 1/2 cup cream and it turned out nicely.

The above photo is after the initial baking, 10 minutes at 425. I decided to add my struesel topping at that point, then baked an additional 40 minutes at 350, just a touch lower than recommended so my crust wouldn't get overly browned.

It looked just about right so I pulled it out of the oven and let it cool on a wire rack before moving it to the fridge. We ended up having this for breakfast after it cooled overnight and it was a huge hit with my kids. Everyone wanted two slices! Picky husband would not try this one, which I kind of figured since he doesn't like almonds or peaches. Sorry, honey. I am so glad I got to give this one a try though, and super excited that my kids all enjoyed this crunchy and custardy and peachy tart :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oatmeal Breakfast Bread Muffins

I can't believe it has been so long since I've posted and this is my first post for August! We have had a tremendously busy and stressful month so far, my boys had surgery at Mott Children's Hospital on the 3rd, and I am so thankful that it went smoothly and my babies (they are 3 and 4 years old) are doing fine and almost completely recovered (my 3 year old still has 19 stitches on his head, but they are healing quickly). Since this is a food and cooking blog I don't go into too much detail about family life, but wanted to let my readers know what has been going on. All is well and things are slowly getting back to normal around here. We are currently getting our kids ready for the school season, my daughter is starting kindergarten this year and my four year old is starting pre-k (which is two days a week) -- we are super excited about this new journey for them. Anyway, back to baking...

It is time for Tuesdays with Dorie -- finally! I've missed a few and have some catching up to do. Today's selection is Oatmeal Breakfast Bread, picked for us to try by Natalie of Oven Love, thank you Natalie. You can find the recipe here if you do not have Dorie's Baking From My Home To Yours.

I decided to bake these in muffin form, and had some extra batter left after filling my muffin tin so I put the excess in my wedge pan. For my dried fruit I used Traverse City cherries and as an extra add-in I tossed in 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips. My four year old helped me make these and had a wonderful time. They are an easy and delicious recipe and I'm sure we will be making these again. Picky husband did not want to try them, but all three kids loved these :)

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