Monday, April 05, 2010


Clafoutis au fromage bleu

It’s time for cooking again.

Clafoutis is a French dessert, sort of a cross between a pancake and a soufflé. It’s mostly eggs, cream, sugar, and flour, and it’s pretty light on the flour. Unlike with a soufflé, the eggs aren’t separated for a clafoutis.

The traditional clafoutis is made with cherries, but other fruits can go in as well, and I’ve made them with berries, with plums, with peaches, with apples, and with caramelized figs. Recently, I had the inspiration to try it with blue cheese, contrasting the sweetness of the batter with the tangy cheese. It turned out great!

I’m sure other cheeses would go nicely — a sharp cheddar, perhaps, or a fresh chèvre. My thought this time was something salty and a little sour. Use Roquefort to keep things French, or try Gorgonzola or a nice Spanish Cabrales.

The quantity of cheese is approximate, and a matter of taste. I didn’t measure it, but crumbled enough to sparsely cover the bottom of the pan. That’s how the fruit is placed, when it’s made with fruit. If you want to use the recipe below with fruit instead of cheese, add a pinch of salt (the cheese provides it here) and cut the sugar back to about ¼ cup.

The timing of this is such that it's convenient to assemble it when the meal is almost ready, and to stick it in the oven just as you sit down to eat. Set a timer, so you don't forget it. It will have cooked and cooled about the right amount when you're ready for coffee.

A note on pronunciation

It is not cla-FOO-tee, but it’s not really cla-foo-TEE either (though the latter is closer, to American ears, to how the French say it). French doesn’t use syllable stress the same way that English does. Try saying all three syllables with equal stress.

Clafoutis au fromage bleu

About 3 oz of a tangy blue cheese
½ cup flour
1 cup heavy cream
1⁄3 cup sugar
3 eggs
freshly ground nutmeg
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400F. Crumble the cheese into an 8- or 9-inch round buttered or non-stick pan. In a bowl, mix the flour, cream, sugar, eggs, salt, and nutmeg, and whisk or lightly beat to blend well. Pour the batter over the cheese. Bake until the top is golden and the batter is set, about 30 minutes. Let cool a bit, then dust with powdered sugar and serve slightly warm.


Laurie said...

Wow! That sounds really good! I just bookmarked that! I think my arteries started clogging while I was reading the recipe...

Barry Leiba said...

Cheese, eggs, heavy cream... yes, I do hope my doctor doesn't read these pages.

Michelle said...

It sounds pretty yum.. I do like using blue cheese for things but I never thought of it as deserty.. hmmm..