This Sunday is Mother’s Day! Here’s the plan: Let’s “take” Mom to her own personal French bistro for brunch.
Place a table somewhere unexpected, like your garden or in front of the fireplace or a pretty window. Set a lovely table with flowers, coffee and mimosas. Add some twinkle lights and music. To complete the Mother’s Day bistro experience, have her wait outside for an hour to be seated. Just kidding! Don’t do that.
Here’s a lovely recipe perfect for Mother’s Day (or any day!). We have a decadent dish that’s fancy pants, frugal and fabulous. Drum roll please … Clafouti!
Clafouti (pronounced kla-foo-TEE) is a simple French dish that serves as dessert, a special breakfast or the star of your next brunch. It’s extremely versatile, very inexpensive and certainly elegant. Did I mention it’s easy? If you can make pancakes, you can make clafouti.
You make this classic French dessert by pouring a sweet crepe-like batter over fruit in a baking dish and baking. The eggy batter cooks around the fruit, resulting in a light, airy, flan-like texture. Use whatever fruit you have on hand, whip up a quick batter in your blender, and bake to impress. It is delicious warm, at room temperature or straight from the fridge.
I’m using fresh strawberries in this recipe because they’re coming into season, so they’ll be affordable, abundant and delicious. Frozen strawberries are available year-round.
Yield: 4 brunch or 6 dessert servings Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 45 minutes
Softened butter for the baking dish
1 1/2 cups half and half or whole milk
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1 pound frozen or fresh strawberries
2 teaspoons cornstarch, if using frozen berries
Powdered sugar, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Lightly butter an 8-cup baking dish or heavy pie dish. Using a blender, combine the half and half, sugars, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour. Blend for 30 seconds.
- Let the batter rest while you prepare the berries. If you’re using frozen strawberries, drain the juice and toss berries with 2 teaspoons cornstarch to help absorb some of the remaining juices. If your berries are whole, slice them in half.
- Place berries, cut side down, in your baking dish. Pour the batter over the berries. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until it’s puffed up, browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the clafoutis from the oven and allow it to cool for a little while, during which time you’ll see it deflate and settle a bit, so have your camera ready.
- Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with powdered sugar and whipped cream if desired.
Now, once you know how to make this batter, it’s a perfect blank canvas for almost any fruit you can think of. Cherries, bananas, plums, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries can all get into the clafouti club. Depending on the season, enjoy sauteed apples and pears, dried figs, raisins and cranberries.
This is an excellent place for thawed frozen fruit to shine; just make sure to drain the liquid off before using them, or it will compromise the setting of the custard. And, because the recipe calls for a small amount of flour, you can easily make it gluten free; just swap an equal amount of brown rice flour.
Give your next soiree French flair with this versatile frugally fabulous dish. Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Divas on a Dime.
Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of the website “Divas On A Dime — Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at firstname.lastname@example.org
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