Meet Jess O'Toole, the writer and photographer behind the stunning food blog La Domestique. Every Tuesday on her blog, Jess shares her ten favorite ways to cook with her ingredient of the week. In this column, Jess expands on one of those ten techniques.
This week: Jess slips tart spring rhubarb into a classic, puffy French dessert.
Photos by Jessica O'Toole
Last week at La Domestique, we celebrated small victories in Colorado growing season with spring onions. This week, spring has officially sprung with the arrival of rhubarb in farmers' markets and grocery stores. The long, bright red stalks of field-grown rhubarb are tart as lemons, adding acidity and a unique fruity flavor to spring desserts. One of my favorite ways to cook with rhubarb is in the recipe for Rhubarb Clafoutis from River Cottage Every Day.
Traditionally, clafoutis is a French dessert made by pouring a sort of pancake batter over fresh cherries and baking the dish in the oven until puffed, golden, and still a tiny bit wobbly in the middle. It’s basically a baked pancake with fruit, or in this case, chunks of tender, tart rhubarb. To begin, the rhubarb is cut into pieces and baked in the oven with a splash of orange juice, a pinch of cinnamon, and sugar. Rhubarb can be tough and fibrous, so most recipes call for stewing upfront to get a head start on tenderizing it. After the rhubarb has cooled and been drained in a sieve, toss the pieces into a baking dish or cast iron skillet. The "pancake" batter, a combination of sugar, flour, eggs, and milk, comes together quickly with a whisk and is poured into the skillet with the rhubarb pieces. Half an hour in the oven results in a beautifully puffed clafoutis, ready to be topped with powdered sugar or a spoonful of whipped cream. Enjoy this sweet and tart Rhubarb Clafoutis for dessert, afternoon tea, or even as a special breakfast (Mother's Day approaches!). It’s especially good reheated the next day.
This is my last contribution to Whole Foods Market Cooking in Boulder, so I wanted to leave you with a little something sweet in the form of this rhubarb dessert. I’ve enjoyed cooking with you here each week. I will still be a part of the Cooking Boulder community, and you can always find me over at LaDomestique.com.
1 pound rhubarb
A little ground cinnamon (optional)
Grated zest of 1/2 orange and the juice of the whole fruit
1 cup superfine sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
A pinch of sea salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup whole milk
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
Cloaked in an eggy custard is just one of the ten ways Jess likes to enjoy rhubarb. See the other nine: 10 Ways Tuesday: Rhubarb.
Like this post? See Jess' topic from last week: Grilled Green Onions with Romesco.
Jess writes the blog La Domestique, a site dedicated to cooking in the moment with ingredients from the pantry and garden.