I am so envious of those of you who get lots of snow during the holidays! Living on the west coast, we’re lucky if we get one, maybe two light dustings during the year. At max we might get a whole inch or two, but that’s only on the very rare occasion, and it usually melts away within a few hours.
Christmas just isn’t Christmas without some snow. Every year on Christmas morning I wake up and run to – not the tree – the window, with an eager hope that, with a quick peek out the bedroom blinds, there’s a fresh blanket of snow covering the streets. I spent a few years as a child living in Whistler, BC, where there was always snow. Trudging to school through a foot of snow bundled in my Sorels was the norm, and recess was filled with copious amounts of sledding and snowball fights.
Sigh. I miss it.
Practical Me is grateful to live in such a moderate climate. It rarely dips below freezing here, commuting is a breeze, and I never have to wait for a snow plow. But dang, when December rolls around, Nostalgic Me longs for a big heavy snowfall, cozy blankets, holiday baking, a crackling fire, and some Bing Crosby Christmas.
I’m not sure why I wanted to chat about snow in this post. Maybe because of the crimson cranberries that remind me of the holidays, or the beautiful dusting of icing sugar on this clafoutis. Whatever the reason, ’tis the season.
A clafoutis is a French dessert where a light batter is poured over fresh fruit and baked into a flan-like consistency. The result is a kind of custard-cake layered with baked fruit. Cherries are traditional, but cranberries are a fun twist!
Tart and sweet, this tart/cake is best served lukewarm with a sprinkle of icing sugar. While intended for dessert, there’s no harm in having a slice for breakfast. Hey, there’s eggs, milk and fruit in there, so I won’t tell anyone.
This clafoutis is a little on the tart side; however, I find that tartness balances out wonderfully against the sweetness of the batter. To remedy the bitterness of the cranberries, toss them with a bit of sugar before starting with the batter. This will bring out their juices and sweeten them right up.
- A beautiful presentation
- A spongy, cake-like bottom layer
- A sweet, custart-like centre
- A thick layer of tart cranberries
- Almonds, for crunch
- A festive dusting of icing sugar (optional, but always recommended)
As you bake the clafoutis, the centre will puff up, but it will deflate as it cools, so don’t worry if it looks strange right out of the oven. Let it cool for about 15 minutes for best results.
If you end up with leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge. The texture won’t be quite the same as fresh out of the oven, but I can honestly say it still tastes divine the next day (as a quick breakfast treat – shhh!)
|Cranberry Almond Clafoutis|| |
- 2 cups fresh cranberries, halved
- 2 Tbsp + ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp orange zest
- ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup slivered almonds, plus more for serving
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- In a small bowl, toss cranberries with 2 Tbsp of sugar; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9" pie plate and place the sugar-coated cranberries in the plate in an even layer; set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the remaining ¾ cup sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and orange zest until smooth. Stir in flour, cinnamon, and salt. Pour batter over cranberries, then sprinkle with slivered almonds.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 375°F, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake for another 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. The clafoutis will puff up when baking, and fall when cooled: this is normal! Serve with a generous sprinkle of icing sugar.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.