Total Time: 1 hour
Hands On Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
"Clafoutis" may sound fancy, but it's really just a cross between a custard and a baked pancake. Traditionally made with cherries, this dish from the Limousin region of France bakes up to a beautiful finish, with the eggy batter nestling chunks of fresh fruit.
Preheat the oven to 375° and grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with butter. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, tapping on all sides to distribute; discard excess. Set aside.
In a pot, combine the milk and heavy cream over medium-high heat. Add the cardamom pods, vanilla seeds, and vanilla pod (or extract). Bring to a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes to infuse.
Meanwhile, prepare the fruit: In a frying pan, melt 1-1/2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the apricots and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Cook 1 to 2 minutes on one side; then flip onto the other. Cook for another minute. Set aside.
Arrange the apricots cut side up at the bottom of the pan; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining sugar. Add the almond meal and millet or all-purpose flour; then strain the milk mixture into the batter and discard the solids. Stir in the melted butter.
Pour the batter over the apricots and bake until the clafoutis is set and slightly puffed (it will deflate again when cooling), 40 to 45 minutes. Serve lukewarm, dusted with confectioners' sugar.
Almond meal (also called almond flour) is sold in the health-food aisle of many supermarkets. You can substitute other nut meals, or make your own by pulsing blanched almonds in a coffee grinder until finely ground but not yet nut butter. Pass the meal through a sieve; then re-grind any larger almond pieces left behind.
In this issue: Thoreau's Maine
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