t’s rhubarb season, and when friend Susan gifted me with a bundle of fresh rhubarb stalks, beautifully wrapped in a rhubarb leaf and tied elegantly with brown string, along with a little basket of fresh hen’s eggs, I immediately started thinking about what to make. I love rhubarb crumble, and enjoy rhubarb ginger jam. And then there is the always-popular rhubarb cake, made with buttermilk. But I wanted something both new, and simple.
I had been reading La Cuisine: Everyday French Home Cooking by Francoise Bernard, and came across a simple recipe for cherry clafoutis, when a light bulb came on. How about rhubarb clafoutis? A clafoutis (sometimes spelled clafouti) is a French dessert made with a thick crepe batter poured over fruit and baked. It’s a family dessert–nothing fancy, and it’s couldn’t be simpler to make. There are a variety of different clafoutis recipes floating around, some being made with cream, but I like to resist the temptation to make everything fancier and richer, and I stuck with the original recipe. My only addition is a splash of vanilla.
While usually directed to serve this warm, I especially enjoyed it as a midnight snack. Normally I am not tempted to snack after supper–it’s my only dieting virtue–but somehow this called to me. In the cooled clafoutis, the mild egg and vanilla custard punctuated with the tart nuggets of rhubarb, really came into its own. Delish!
Butter for the baking dish
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound cut-up rhubarb (about 3 cups)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Generously butter an 8 x 8″ Pyrex baking dish. (I used a Le Creuset gratin dish, which holds exactly the same volume as the Pyrex.)
In a bowl whisk the flour with the sugar and salt. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then the milk until smooth. Pour the chopped rhubarb into the buttered baking dish and distribute evenly, and then pour the batter over the top. Bake for about 45 minutes. Serve sprinkled with a dusting of powdered sugar.