To round out the month of "spring-themed" recipes, I am sharing something in the food world near and dear to my heart. Clafoutis is a simple French dessert traditionally made with cherries. The version I am sharing today is one of my favorite breakfast treats or quick-to-prepare desserts. It's generously studded with tangy rhubarb and sweet mango which are suspended in a baked custard. The consistency of this custard falls somewhere between flan and a puff pancake (also known as Dutch or German pancakes). It has more structure than flan thanks to corn starch and just a few tablespoons of your choice of flour, but is less flour based than a puff pancake. I use light spelt flour, but you can also use all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour. Regular whole wheat flour would be too heavy. And for gluten-free, use tapioca flour or an all-purpose gluten-free flour.
Pairing mango with rhubarb helps to naturally balance the tartness of the rhubarb and requires less sugar than is usually needed for rhubarb desserts. If you don't have a love for tart-and-sweet desserts like I do, of course you can increase the amount of sugar. But one quiet, rainy morning this week I shared this with my friend and neighbor who has quite the sweet tooth, and she thoroughly enjoyed it as is.
If you are not familiar with rhubarb, it is as easy to prepare as celery. Simply run the stalks under water to rinse away dirt. Trim the ends by slicing only half-way through the stalk, then pull the end back and string the full stalk like you would celery. Halve the stalk lengthwise if the rhubarb is rather thick and wide, and chop into bite size pieces.
This clafoutis is simple to pull together; no careful heating of cream or chocolate over a double boiler or mixing of wet and dry ingredients separately. And with the exception of the fruit, you probably already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen. Rhubarb is abundant right now where I am, but for the summer months you could swap it out for berries or cherries. I would stay away from juicy stone-fruit, however, because it could water down the custard.
This is best enjoyed warm with a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar. I hope it brings as much joy to your table on a rainy day as it did mine.
Did you enjoy this month of spring-themed recipes? Would you like to see more 'themed' posts in the future? I love hearing what you like or would like to see more of so I know whether the recipes and ideas I share strike a cord with your interests and needs at mealtime. So please don't hesitate to drop me a note!
Rhubarb and Mango Clafoutis
Adapted from La Tartine Gourmand's Rhubarb, Raspberry Clafoutis
Notes: I use light spelt flour in this recipe, but all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, tapioca flour, or an all-purpose gluten-free flour are all good options.
- 7 oz. rhubarb, cut in bite-size pieces (~3-4 stalks)
- 1/2 large ripe but firm mango, diced
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp. natural cane sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 Tbsp. full-fat natural, plain yogurt (or crème fraîche)
- Powdered sugar, to sprinkle
- Place the prepared rhubarb in a colander and stir in 3 Tbsp of sugar. Set aside in the sink or over a plate for 30-45 minutes so that the rhubarb releases some juice.
- Preheat oven to 400 F (204 C). Grease a deep pie dish, 8x8 square baking dish or something of similar size.
- In a large bowl use a hand mixer to beat eggs and sugar until the mixture is smooth and silky. On low speed mix in cornstarch and flour, just until incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Mix in milk and yogurt.
- Place the mango and rhubarb pieces in the prepared dish and pour the batter over the fruit.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the custard is puffed, no longer wobbly, starts to pull away from the fruit pieces, and is golden in color.
- Let cool slightly so it sets up (15-20 minutes), then serve while still warm.