Monday, August 1, 2011

Rhubarb

Believe it or not, I still have rhubarb.   We harvested some recently and tried two new recipes - a Rhubarb Clafouti from Savor the Rhubarb and the Rhubarb Ginger Cheesecake Bars from Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen Blog.

You can go to the Pioneer Woman's blog to get all the info on the cheesecake bars.   Easy and yummy!

The clafouti was a whole new thing for me.   I'd never heard of it before this year.    So, I did some research.

According to Wiki,  the proper word is Clafoutis, from the verb clafir, meaning "to fill" - as in 'filled with cherries'.  The 's' at the end is silent. 

And that is why anglophones changed the spelling to clafouti.  

The dish comes from the Limonsin region of France, which is one of the traditional provinces of France, close to the city of Limoges.  

True clafouti is made with black cherries and is cooked with the pits in.   The pits impart a distinctive flavor.   If you pit the cherries, the flavor is different.  

If you don't use cherries in this dish, it's called a 'flaugnarde' or 'flagnarde' or 'flognarde' or 'flougnarde'.   So you have lots of options. 

It looks like a traditional American cobbler only with a thinner batter.   Maybe they're related.   If you find out that they are [or aren't], let me know.    

It works like this:   You make a thin batter and pour a short layer of that on the bottom of your dish.   Bake that layer, then add the fruit or sauce and then the rest of the batter.   Bake it all until brown.   They say it's like a glorified pancake / flan.  

Rhubarb Flaugnarde

Batter:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup flour
Filling:
  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 TB lemon zest [OPTIONAL - I used a tablespoon of lemon juice instead because I didn't have a lemon.   You could probably leave it out all together.]
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 250.   Butter an 8x8 dish.  Put the batter ingredients in a blender and blend it up.  Pour a thin layer of the batter into the dish and bake it until firm.  10-15 minutes or so.   Mostly 'or so'.   Keep an eye on it and jiggle it to see if it's firm. 

In the meantime, make the rhubarb filling.   Put it all in a saucepan and cook it until soft.  

When the crust is cooked, pull it out and set the oven at 375.  Spread the filling on top of the baked layer.   Then pour the rest of the batter over all.   Bake until brown and the crust puffs up.  50 minutes. 

Traditionally served at room temperature. 

YUM!   Seriously a great way to eat rhubarb.   

Notes:   This wasn't very sweet.    Put some sweetened whipped cream or ice cream on it when you serve it.  Or you can up the sugar in the filling to 1/2 or 2/3 of a cup.  

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