Clafoutis Like You’ve Never Seen Before
Since these juicy red orbs of sweetness have been in season we can’t seem to get away from Clafoutis! I wish I could tell you I’m as tired of eating it as I am of seeing it everywhere but I think I have a crush on Cafloutis. (Don’t tell Cinnamon Rolls!)
While we were in Saintes we had Clafoutis three times and all three times it was made by someone that was welcoming us into their home so I loved it. Their idea for Clafoutis came from La Rousse de la Cuisine, which seems to be the one cookbook everyone has in France. So now when I see round tarts with cherries peeking out, I think of never ending dinners and making new friends.
We had so many cherries at home that I wanted to make just one Clafoutis for the sake of remembering our summer antics and because I had never actually made it before. Can you tell?
I swear I watched it closely. I don’t know what happened. Usually I only burn toast and my other half knows what’s for breakfast when he awakes to the sound of the smoke alarm. Unfortunately now he is going to think I’m making dessert.
Not one to give up, I decided to make this a clafoutis unlike all the rest. With the help of my favorite ten year old we stretched our creative muscles and wanted to make this more than an overbaked seasonal dessert.
I’m not a gifted photographer and I’m not a writer that can make characters dance off the page like singers in a Broadway musical. But I can (usually) bake and I can always make something work. I make things beautiful in my own way and it’s not to impress you or please my worst critics. I am creative, I am an artist and I am proud of my work! Burned-to-a-crisp or not.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t hear the word “can’t” as a final diagnosis for anything. “You can’t do it that way” means that someone doesn’t see my vision or that it may be unsafe. Depending on the situation, I either try it or find another way.
I really have no shame in sharing a dessert that I’ve burned nearly beyond recognition. It’s who I am, but believe me I had a big huge fit when I saw what I had done! After translating the recipe, setting out all the ingredients, carefully mixing and following this recipe I get…this. Ok fine. I’ll make it work.
I did kinda like the way the vanilla sugar stood out against the blackened crust. FYI if you were coming over to dinner in person, I would have sifted enough powdered sugar atop this creature to make it look unburned and I would have served you a center piece.
Food As An Art Form
Taylor and I decided to paint a background for the cafloutis. Since we used a close color to the cherries, the whipped cream added a white edge around each piece to add a brightness. I dug in and started painting with cherry pits and my fingers. Taylor made a nice paint out of some berry skins and a few berries we had that were smooshed. We took turns then tackled it together to make a sort of backdrop.
I don’t want to be ashamed of what I baked and ruined I wanted to celebrate it! I made it with the best intentions. Thank goodness I am not competitive and my perfectionist side is taking a back seat to my creative side. I think it’s safe to say that this is a clafoutis unlike any that you have ever seen before! This represents me. A little burned on the edges, not like the rest but definitely worth it.
A very close friend of mine confided in me about her inability to settle for anything less than perfect.
“If it’s not perfect I feel as though I have completely failed! What’s wrong with me?” she asked one day, an emotional mess. Runny nose and all.
“Nothing is wrong with you. You just want things to be your idea of perfect,” I replied in my most empathetic tone of voice, hoping a hug would offer at least a little comfort. I wasn’t sure if this was the right time to explain that I felt the same way.
I can work with my imperfect results and make it into something to be proud of. No one really gets this and I don’t really care because I do it for my own expression. It took a very long time for me to be able to say that and mean every word, but it’s so freeing to be ok with imperfection! Just know when to try again and when to make it into a work of art.
My idea of perfection is different from yours or Taylor’s or my other half. Perhaps we can make perfection a little like success and enjoy the journey? Or maybe it just needs to be redefined. Either way, I know I won’t look at burned food the same way again.
By the way…did you know that I always burn the chicken when I dare to put it on the grill?