Friday, November 18, 2011

Fun to say, and to eat.

Clafoutis.  Just say it.  Cla-foo-tee.  Fun, right?  Because of the name, and because of what it is, I have wanted to make a clafoutis for a while, I just never got around to it.  A clafoutis is a custard, and it is a thing of wonder.  So light. So fluffy.  Most clafoutis that I have seen have had berries in them, and they were a summer thing.

One of my favorite blogs, Gina’s Skinny Recipes, recently had a recipe for a pumpkin hazelnut clafoutis.  I have always had a good experience with her recipes, so I figured I would try this one out.  And, I happened to be looking for pumpkin recipes.  A couple of weeks ago, some friends gave me a pumpkin! I think it was actually a leftover from a pumpkin chucking thing they do around Halloween. But, I was happy to have it, and promised to do good things with it.  I roasted the seeds (which were devoured almost immediately), and then I turned the rest into pumpkin puree.  The one pumpkin (of average size) made me almost 6 cups of puree!  Needless to say, I will be making many more pumpkin desserts.  

But I digress.  

I am so happy I made this clafoutis.  It was very easy to put together, and so, so tasty.  It is sweetened with agave nectar, and the finished product is not super sweet.  Gina suggests it be an alternative to pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.  Um, yeah, no.  No one gets between me and pumpkin pie.  Not it they want to keep all of their fingers.  But, this stuff is tasty, even if it won’t be replacing pumpkin pie for me this year.  You should try it.

One quick note: the original recipe calls for the seeds from one vanilla bean.  I didn’t have that, and those things are kind of expensive.  You can substitute an extra teaspoon of vanilla extra.  Or, I have vanilla bean paste, which is what I used.  The paste is vanilla beans in a vanilla goo, and you can use if 1:1 for vanilla extract.  It’s kind of pricey, so I only use it for things where it would actually make a difference, like this.  So, I used 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste.  

Pumpkin Hazelnut Clafoutis
Serves 10

3 large eggs
2 large egg whites
10 tbsp light agave nectar
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
pinch of salt
1 cup 1% milk
1 tsp vanilla extra
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
⅛ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp ginger
⅔ cup pumpkin puree
baking spray
⅓ cup chopped lightly toasted hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Spray a 9-inch pie plate with baking spray. Add the hazelnuts to the dish.

Place the eggs, egg whites, agave, milk, vanillla extract, vanilla bean paste, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt in a blender.  Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Add the pumpkin puree and blend well.

Add the flour and pule until well combined.

Pour the batter into the pie dish.

Bake for 15 minutes, the lower the heat to 375 and bake until the center is just set, about 12 minutes.

Serve immediately.

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