Have you ever encountered the sparkling green or red gooseberry? Commonly found in many parts of the Eastern United States and England, I myself (based on the West coast) had never tried the sweet/sour little fruits. When I bought a can of them 6 months ago, I aimed to throw them into a summer pie or jam. Instead, my forgetfulness inspired this Fall recipe for a clafouti.
Have you heard of this divine, rustic breakfast-meets-dessert treat? If so, have you used coconut milk and gooseberries as the major components of the recipe?
Some recipes come from great chefs and cookbooks, others by emulating something spectacular enjoyed in a restaurant, and then there's the final frontier of recipe development: working with what you have on hand. At its best, this method of limitations (laziness?!) yields wonderful dishes, at its worst, the earnest effort could be destined for the trash can. In this case, I had a can of gooseberries, eggs, flour, sugar, salt, vanilla and coconut lingering around. I didn't have cherries, plums (traditional fruits called for in a clafouti) or whole milk (used the coconut milk instead). And the most luscious clafouti was upon us. Washed down with coffee and sparkling blood orange juice, it turned an ordinary overcast morning into a special moment shared with my husband. In the art of living, turning forgotten cans of foods into a hearty, eggy, sweet affair, is a real triumph.
1 1/4 cup coconut milk
scant 3/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup gooseberries, canned or fresh
butter to grease the pan
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, crack 3 eggs and whisk to combine. Add coconut milk, sugar, salt and vanilla and mix until well blended. Finally, add the flour to this mixture and stir until evenly incorporated.
Generously grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet (or pie pan of similar size will work as well). Pour batter into greased pan, then sprinkle the gooseberries evenly throughout the mixture. Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, then broil on high for about 2 minutes (until golden brown and puffy). Let stand 5 minutes, then serve with a generous dusting of powdered sugar.
(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)