The beauty of a fig. The curves, the color and the sensual plumpness – it really seems best to leave it alone. But what happens when one crazy cook decides to bake a fig clafoutis in a quiche pan?
I was not giving up though. I wouldn’t want to miss Creampuff’s Sugar High Friday #35 : The Beautiful Fig . Fresh figs are hard to come by in my neck of the woods, but by a stroke of luck, my local Fresh Market just got a shipment of tasty Black Mission Figs. Oh Yeah! I’m sure giving this another shot.
The recipe for the clafouti comes from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course. Based on my past two attempts (first one pictured above, the second looked like a pepperoni pizza) , I found the clafoutis too eggy for my taste so I made some changes. I switched a whole egg for one egg yolk, reduced the milk and added creme fraiche. That made it creamier. I substituted the vanilla extract and pulp of a 1-inch vanilla bean with vanilla bean paste. I also reduced the sugar to one-half cup. For this last try, I was able to find some Concorde grapes to go with it. In the book, Claudia Fleming espoused the belief that "What grows together goes together."
Fig and Concorde Grape Clafouti
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup creme fraiche
- 1/2 cup sugar +2 tbs.
- 1 tbs. butter, melted
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
- 1/4 cup flour
- 9 figs, halved
- 1/2 cup Concorde Grapes , seeded
In a blender, place the eggs, yolks, cream, milk, creme fraiche, salt, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla bean paste and blend until the mixture is very smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and pulse until well combined. Pass through a fine mesh sieve and let the mixture rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425F. Brush the insides of a quiche pan ( I guess you don’t want one with a removable bottom – mine seeped through which resulted in the mess), pie plate, or cast-iron skillet with the melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.
Lay the figs down, cut side up and then top with the grapes. Pour the batter over the fruit. Bake the clafoutis for 15 minutes and then lower the heat to 375F and then bake until the center is just set, 10-12 minutes. Serve Immediately.
I was able to find a small cast iron cooking pot where I baked a mini clafouti. The rest of the mixture was cooked in a huge souffle dish. I noticed that the clafouti in the small cast iron vessel puffed and colored better than the one in the other dish. The clafouti is best eaten right away. When it sits out the fig starts to contract and the sweet custard starts to look like the craters of the moon especially if "someone" starts picking the figs out from it. The Concorde grapes add a punch of flavor that complements the mild flavor of the figs.
Whew! Am I glad I made it to SHF#35. I guess the third time is the charm, huh! Please stop by Cream Puffs In Venice for the blockbuster roundup!