|[Espresso at Le Petit Marcel, Paris]|
And it got me thinking if our tastes really change that dramatically when we live (or travel) abroad...or is it simply that the Italians are masters of the coffee trade, and, as in fashion & fast cars, they're really hard to duplicate?
And more importantly, which coffee do I serve with my très French dessert, the clafoutis (cluh-foo-tee)?
First of all, I would make this moist treat just for the name alone. Really, how cool is clafoutis? We traced the origin at Nicolas' parents home (when his mother whipped out a cherry-version to put us all to shame) to come from the word clafir (to fill). It's basically a simple, very dense, cake recipe which you can fill with your choice of fruit.
|[Fresh cherries for clafoutis]|
|[Cherry clafoutis chez les parents]|
Any fruit you say? Well, on my seemingly never-ending quest to beat the end-of-summer blues (or was that the never-ending quest to eat French desserts...hmm, must have my weeks mixed-up), I decided to take clafoutis-making to the next step with a cool visit to chez Mr. Pineapple. Which was all fine & good, until you realize how long it takes to cut those puppies up. By the time we finished slicing & dicing, I could have used an espresso shot just to get through the next phase.
|[There's more than one way to skin a pineapple...or is there?]|
Well, I have to say that I don't think my pineapp-clafoutis came out a nice as Nic's maman's (getting my points in early here folks), but dang, fresh pineapple really tastes delicious. And, thankfully, we packed a now less-than-shiny cafetiere from Rome to try and recreate a bit of that Italian coffee magic. It's no Nespresso, but it'll have to do...
|[Slightly-less sophisticated French dessert, but très moist & delicious]|
Recipe for Pineapple Clafoutis (via the Food Network):
- 2 cups fresh pineapple, diced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- Pinch kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, sprinkle the pineapple with half of the sugar, and set aside.
In another medium bowl, beat together the butter, remaining sugar, and eggs. In a third medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and fold in 2/3 of the pineapple. Spoon the mixture into a small baking dish, or 4 ramekins, and scatter the rest of the pineapple onto the top. Bake for 16 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.