I have spent the last few days cramming clothes into suitcases and figuring out which cookbooks I can’t live without for the next 3 months (hint: it’s a lot!) because tomorrow morning, my little Nissan and I will be heading north to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee! I will be spending the next three months cooking and baking my little heart out at an award-winning resort restaurant to complete my externship and finish pastry school and I AM SO EXCITED! Lucky for me, my cousin and his wife are the most wonderful, gracious friends and they are letting me move in as their summer roomie. I will be spending the summer hiking through the mountains, exploring the wild foods of Tennessee, and working and day and night to learn everything I can about fine dining kitchens. It’s going to be such an adventure!
That being said, this will be my last traditional recipe post on the blog for a little while. I am going to take the summer to be completely present and focus 100% on my internship, so I won’t be dedicating as much time to developing and photographing new recipes. Not to fear, I am not going away completely! I will still be writing regular blog posts and sharing all that I am learning both in and out of the kitchen. I am looking forward to coming back in the fall, freshly inspired and full of new skills and knowledge to share!
To me, this blackberry lavender clafoutis feels like that perfectly warm, beginning of summer day. It’s refreshing and bright, but not overwhelming and it wets the appetite for all of the sunshine and berries that summer has to offer. Traditionally a clafoutis is somewhere between a cobbler and custard, but this one leans a little heavier towards the cobbler side- meaning a little cakier and a little less custard-like. I adapted this recipe from Yotam Ottenlenghi’s newest book “Simple” and you can interchange the blackberries and lavender for whatever fruit or herb you have an abundance of. (Some other ideas: blueberry + thyme; strawberry + basil; strawberry + rose; plums + thyme; peach + lavender; peach + basil, the possibilities are endless). This is a perfect, low-maintenance dessert to throw together for your next backyard grilling party. It pairs beautifully with ice-cold rose, summer sunsets, and lots of friends.
Blackberry Lavender Clafoutis
Yield: 1 9” cake
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp water
splash (1-2 tbsp) red wine
2 tsp lavender
1 lemon, tested and juiced
12 oz blackberries
2 eggs, separated
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
7 tbsp heavy cream
pinch of salt
Ice cream, for serving
In a medium saucepan, heat 4 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tbsp water, along with the blackberries and lavender. Simmer over medium heat until sugar is melted and mixture is starting to bubble. Add wine and lemon juice and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool.
Preheat oven to 375 ° F. Pour blackberry mixture into the bottom of a 9” cake pan and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites on medium speed until frothy and then increase speed to high, whipping to form stiff peaks. Transfer egg whites to another bowl and then return bowl to mixer. (There is no need to wash the bowl out).
In the bowl of the mixer, combine egg yolks, 3 tbsp brown sugar, flour, vanilla, heavy cream, lemon zest and salt. Whip until pale and thickened, about 1-2 minutes.
Add egg whites to egg yolk mixture in two batches, folding gently using a rubber spatula. (A few egg white streaks are okay).
Pour batter over the blackberry mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes until golden brown and baked through. Remove from oven and cool slightly (about 5 minutes) before serving. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Notes: If you choose to riff on this recipe and use a more delicate herb like basil, wait and add it when you add the wine and lemon juice so that it doesn’t get overcooked.