Archive for Recipes: Sweet

Apple Clafoutis

This is it, guys. It’s really fall.

Here on the West Coast, we had a beautiful October, filled to the brim with sunny, crisp days and stunning foliage. It’s one of those times when you’re so grateful for where you live.

When Michael was younger, there would always be a Pro-D day at the end of October, and we’d spend it at the Pumpkin Patch–picking out the perfect pumpkin to eat or to carve up, going on hay rides, eating mini donuts and buying apples and other fresh, seasonal produce.

Apple Clafoutis

Sadly, Mr. Teenager is no longer into it, but I dragged him out to Abbotsford anyway a couple weeks back to Tave’s, which is an apple farm. They have pumpkins, apples, apple cider, and lots of fun activities for the littles, like a corn maze, pony rides, and a petting zoo (nothing makes me happier than petting goats).

We came home, natch, with a pumpkin, some apples, and some freshly-pressed apple cider.

There are so many things you can do with apples, both sweet and savoury, but I wanted to do something little less traditional than say, a cobbler or a pie. I decided to try making an apple clafoutis.

Clafoutis is a French dessert. Basically, you take any kind of fruit you like (cherries are most traditional), and throw them into the bottom of the pan. Hard-core French won’t even pit them. Then, you make a really simple batter–it’s a lot like a pancake or crepe batter–just flour, sugar, eggs and milk, and pour it on top of your fruit, and then bake at a high temp.

The end result is much bigger than the sum of its humble parts. The batter creates a kind of custardy filling that is infused with the fruit. And the fruit–juicy, delicious and warm–is fan-freaking-tastic.

In an ideal world, you’d want to bake this off at the last moment and serve it warm to the table with a dusting of powdered sugar or maybe a nice cold scoop of ice cream.

Here, I’ve swapped out the cherries for apples, but before putting them to bed in a warm blanket of batter in the oven, the apples are sautéed in cider, a little booze, cinnamon and butter, to glaze them and bring out their natural sweetness and juiciness.

Apple Clafoutis: what fall desserts dream of being.

Clafoutis Apple

Apple Clafoutis

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1/4 cup apple cider or juice
  • 4 sturdy apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (granny smiths are good)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp liquor (rum would be great, any whisky, or amaretto)
  • 1/2-1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup condensed milk
  • 1/2 c butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Method:

  1. In a cast iron frying pan over medium heat, melt the 1/4 cup butter. Toss in the apples, apple cider, sugar and cinnamon and toss well. Allow to cook down about 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened and is coating the apples with a glaze. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender, add the eggs, milk, vanilla, flour, sugar and salt. Blitz it until it is smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Arrange the apples in a single layer on the bottom of the pan, and then pour the clafoutis batter overtop in an even layer. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until it’s set in the middle. It’s okay if it’s still a bit jiggly.
  5. Remove from oven and dust with cinnamon and powdered sugar, and serve warm.

Blueberry Shortcake {Vegan}

There are two schools of thought when it comes to shortcake: there are the biscuit folks and then there are the cake folks.

Neither is wrong. It’s just what you prefer.

Vegan Blueberry Shortcake

Shortcake made on a biscuit tends to be a bit heavier in texture, and less sweet. The idea is to use a basic biscuit dough recipe, but add a little sugar to make it a bit sweet, and less savoury.

The cake people have lots of options: I’ve seen shortcake made from regular vanilla cake, angel food cake, and even pound cake.

Either way, to make a shortcake, you place your base (buscuit or cake) on a plate, and top it with mascerated berries and whipped cream, and serve! It’s sometimes better if you have time to let it sit for a while and allow the berry juices to sink in and absorb into the base layer.

The thing about me, though–and you probably know this by now–is that I love the pairing of sweet and savoury. So in this particular instance, I have added a savory element to the busicits–namely the herb thyme. Thyme is a great addition here, because it’s not too strong, and goes well with the blueberry.

Same with the blueberries. I never make any kind of shortcake without adding a little balsamic vinegar to the berries. The balsamic has a little sweetness, a little acidity–that takes the berries to the next level.Blueberry Shortcake Vegan

Blueberry Shortcake {Vegan}

For the shortcake/biscuits:

  • 1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup non dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (optional)
  • course granulated sugar & additional non dairy milk
  1. Place the non dairy milk in a small bowl, and add the lemon juice to it. Allow to sit while you complete the next step.
  2. Measure out all of your dry ingredients and the thyme into a large bowl, and mix to combine. Drop the vegan butter in and using your hands or a pastry blender (I actually use my potato masher, it works great), mush the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add the milk to the dry ingredients, and carefully begin to mix everything together. If the mix is a bit dry, you may need to add a little extra milk, 1 tbsp at a time. You don’t want to overwork your dough, so mix it just until it comes together.
  4. On a floured board, roll your dough out so it’s about 3/4″ thick. Cut out circles using a glass or a cookie cutter, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush a little vegan milk on the top of each biscuit and sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden on the edges.
  5. Remove from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.

While the biscuits are baking, make the blueberry compote.

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1. In a smallish saucepan, place all the ingredients over  medium heat, and gently bring to a boil. Allow to cook down for 5-10 minutes, until the consistency is jammy. I like to mash mine up with a potato masher, or you can puree it in your blender if you like a smoother consistency. Remove from the pan into a heat-proof bowl and place in the refrigerator to set. The consistency will thicken as it cools.

To assemble the blueberry shortcakes:

  1. Take a biscuit and split it in half lengthwise. Lay the bottom half on the plate, and top with a generous dollop of the blueberries. Top that with a spoonful of coconut whip. Top with the top of the biscuit to complete.
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