I hardly expected such a gourmet French dessert to come from a small, tattered booklet called “Grandma’s Cooking.” Cherry Pie, Blueberry Cobbler or Apple Brown Betty, perhaps. But not something called Clafoutis. (Pronounced “Claw-foo-TEE”). Never did I expect a few simple ingredients would produce such a rich, delicate baked dessert that is now one of my very favorite go-to recipes. (To think that I found Grandma’s Cooking at a thrift store for a buck!) Yes, it’s hot outside, and we don’t want anything heavy for dessert. Clafoutis is the answer! This simple treat begins with fresh fruit topped with a very basic combination of eggs, cream and sugar with a slight amount of flour and lemon juice. It’s a bit of a cross between cake, pudding and flan, and it’s remarkably delicious and light! Clafoutis, a local favorite dessert from the Limousin region of France, is traditionally made with black cherries. But most fruits in season, like plums, pears, apples and berries work just as well. This week blackberries were large and sweet, so that’s what I used. What I love about Clafoutis is that it is pretty much foolproof. Spread the fresh fruit on the bottom of an oven proof dish, pour the egg and cream mixture over the top and bake. That’s it. When done, Clafoutis get sprinkled with a light mist of powdered sugar and served warm, room temperature of cooled with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream! Wow! What a winner. So here you go. From the area of France that gave us the world-renowned Limoges porcelain, I give you another regional treasure, Clafoutis!
Homemade Peppermint Patties
Homemade Peppermint Patties! They’re the perfect treat to make for your sweetie for Valentine’s Day. The first time I tasted these, it was love at first bite. It was my company’s holiday pot luck luncheon last year, and my co-worker Charlie Huebsch brought in a batch of his wife Tisha’s homemade peppermint patties. I tasted one, stole a bunch more, and then begged for the recipe. Tisha, who loves to cook and bake for her two boys, Jackson and Thomas, had stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest looking for some new ideas for her school’s cookie exchange. She started adding a little more of this and a little more of that until she perfected the candy. If you love store bought peppermint patties, you’re going to flip over the homemade version! I’ve renamed them Tisha’s Treasures, and the best part is, it only takes 5 simple ingredients to win someone’s heart!