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Ok, so I’m a little late. I didn’t forget. I’ve just been caught up in the frenzy that accompanies the shopping and packing of getting two kids off to college. Colleges that are hundreds of miles from home and involve airplane travel and concern about pilot strikes and hurricanes. But there is one thing I won’t have to worry about. Remember last August when I drove Alex (my oldest son) to LaGuardia Airport in New York City and my sunroof opened up by itself and wouldn’t close – and it was pouring rain? What I’m Talking About – When A Child Goes To College. Well, I’m sure you forgot all about it – but I never did. I think about it every time I’m in that car and it rains. However, as I said, I don’t have to worry about it because I had the sunroof disabled. No never know. I just don’t trust that thing.
Anyway, there was a little break in the action today, so I’m finally getting around to doing something I’ve been wanting to do for two weeks: participate in the cooking world’s birthday celebration of what would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday.
So I made clafoutis. Back when I was trying to recreate a gluten-free version for my first cookbook, I started with her recipe (it was the one I had always made in wheat form) and then worked through another half dozen recipes from respected cookbook authors and food writers. Interestingly, there were all very different and I ended up going back to hers because it was the best. I carefully tweaked the proportions – and changed the directions completely – so it would work really well with my brown rice flour mix (thankfully, my boys like clafoutis, because it was a long test period that lasted for weeks) and now, it is one of my favorite easy desserts.
Today, I was thinking of using peaches or plums to make it because even though it is the end of August, there are still plenty of good stone fruits where I live. But Sous Chef boy voted for berries, and since he only has a few days left at home before he leaves for his freshman year, I made this beautiful berry version with a vanilla base. Below is picture of what it looked like before I sifted the powdered sugar over the top to make it pretty.
Chocolate lovers take heart! If you have a hankering for chocolate, try my chocolate version on the Food Philosopher website. You can serve either of them warm, at room temperature, or chilled. They’re good no matter how you serve them.
Gluten-free Clafoutis with Berries
Adapted from the recipe Custard Cake with Berries (page 73) in Gluten-Free Baking Classics
Makes one 9-inch cake
1 cup fresh strawberries or raspberries
1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour Mix
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 cups whole milk (see dairy-free version below)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar for garnish
1. Wash and carefully dry the berries. If using strawberries, hull them and cut them in half.
2. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Position rack in center of oven. Grease a 9-inch round glass (Pyrex) or ceramic deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray and dust lightly with rice flour. Arrange the cut strawberries on bottom of pie pan.
3. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
4. Break eggs into center of flour mixture and whisk until just smooth. Add milk and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Arrange strawberries so the cut side is facing down. Put pan in center of oven; bake about 55 minutes (a knife inserted into center of cake should come out clean). Do not open oven for 45 minutes of baking time.
6. Cool cake in the pan on a rack for about 1 1/2 hours. Sift confectioners’ sugar over top.
Serve warm, or at room temperature. Can be made a day ahead, but is especially nice when slightly rewarmed (although there are die-hard fans of cold Clafoutis). Store cake covered tightly with plastic wrap in refrigerator. Best when eaten within three days of baking.
Cooks Note: for a dairy-free version use rice milk, almond milk, or coconut milk and one extra tablespoon of Brown Rice Flour Mix (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Brown Rice Flour Mix). Depending on dairy substitute, cake may take less time to bake.