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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- Meanwhile, in a blender, add the eggs, milk, vanilla, flour, sugar and salt. Blitz it until it is smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- 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.
- Remove from oven and dust with cinnamon and powdered sugar, and serve warm.