Thursday, January 20, 2011
Mixed Berry Flaugnarde with Vanilla Bean
Mixed berry what?
This lush, earthy yet sophisticated dessert proved a beautiful, delicately vanilla-scented solution for a Costco-sized bag of mixed berries that had crouched for months (years?) in the bottom of my freezer. You know, the one you keep moving around when you're looking for other stuff. And you think, "What can I do with two pounds of mixed berries? Why did I buy them in the first place?"
I love The Nourished Kitchen blog, and was enchanted by this recipe that is so satisfying to the senses, uses my berry largesse, and assuages my conscience for ignoring that bag 'o berries for so long.
A flaugnarde (flewn-YARD) is apparently kin to the clafoutis (kah-floo-TEE), but it is flourless and more custardy. As it happened, my aunt had given me a tube of vanilla beans (she'd been to Costco, too, and shared), and my Pure Eire cream was ready for something new.
It does add a little continental flair to say "we're having flewn-YARD" for dessert, but this lovely dish would be good even without announcing it with a French accent.
MIXED BERRY FLAUGNARDE WITH VANILLA BEAN
Adapted from The Nourished Kitchen
2 pounds mixed fresh or frozen berries
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 vanilla bean (optional)
Preheat oven to350 degrees.
In a large bowl, toss berries with vanilla extract. Put berries in a baking dish, and roast them for 20 minutes. They should have released most of their juices.
Carefully spoon berries into a colander set over a bowl. Let them drain thoroughly; a screen mesh colander is best. You want them to be as juice-free as possible. Save the juices to use for flavoring other things like smoothies and ice cream, or simmer the juices down to make a lovely, vanilla-scented syrup.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk thoroughly the egg, egg yolks, cream and maple syrup.
Pour the strained berries into a shallow baking dish. I used a 10 1/2-inch Corning ware dish with 1 1/2-inch-tall sides. Spread berries evenly over bottom of dish. If using vanilla bean, lay it on top of the berries. Pour batter over berries and bake for 45 minutes or until the flaugnarde browns and the egg is just set.
Best served warm, after it cools just a bit.
Makes 4 generous servings, or 6 smaller ones