I am always trying to come up with fresh new ideas for my coffee cart. I try to give a wide range and variety of goodies every week. I also like to re-use and repurpose things as much as I possible too. I have been offering a lot of fruit as well as pastries for the past few weeks, but unfortunately, fruit does not have a long shelf life. So rather than throwing away fruits unnecessarily, I try my best to incorporate it into my pastries whenever I can. This week, I was re-using some grapes and made mini grape clafoutis. They were partnered with some mini brownies and donut holes too. By the end of the day, they were all gone. My platter was left with nothing but the flowers and and light dusting of powdered sugar when it was time to clean up after everyone had left for the day. I will take this as a very good sign indeed. I think they were a hit. Ironically, I almost didn’t use them because I was not happy with how they turned out. But what do I know? I was very pleasantly surprised to see they had all completely disappeared.
Clafoutis originated in a rural region in south-central France called Limousin. Its name comes from the Occitan word “clafir,” meaning “to fill.” So popular was it “to fill” a dish with fruit and batter, that by the 19th century, clafoutis’ renown had spread from Limousin to other regions of France and bordering countries.
Clafoutis is a baked French dessert of fruit, traditionally with black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. When baked, the finished product is somewhere between a cake and a custard dessert. Purists will call this dessert a flaugnarde if it is made with any other type of fruit besides cherries, but for those of us who are less discerning, they are all clafoutis to us. You can make them with any kind of fruit. It is a great way to savor the flavors of the fruits and to savor the flavors of the season as well. So I say be creative. Make your best clafoutis with whatever type of fruits you like – cherries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, pears, grapes, or whatever else tickles your fancy. One of our guests said they tasted like fruited German pancakes.
Mini Grape Clafoutis
1 lb grapes – I used red and green
1 3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
powdered sugar for dusting when they are completely cooled
Preheat the oven to 375* F or 200* C.
I used my mini muffin pans, but you can use a springform cakepan too. Add a little of the melted butter to the bottom of the pan and coat the sides. Place the grapes all around the bottom. Since I used my mini muffin pans, I added one grape per section.
In either a blender or a food processor, blend all your remaining ingredients together until it makes a thin, batter.
Pour the batter over the grapes and bake for about 1 hour, or slightly less if making them as minis.
When the clafoutis are done, allow them to cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove and allow to cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar and serving. As I mentioned above, these were a big hit and completely disappeared. Bon Appetit!
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.