Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Red-Gooseberry Clafoutis

Oregon, my home state, is a treasure trove of all kinds of berries. However, to the best of my knowledge, there are no red gooseberries. In fact, I wonder if gooseberries grow anywhere in the U.S.?

So when I received a box of the tiny, bright red berries I wasn't exactly sure what to do with them.  I opened up a few cookbooks and surveyed the indexes for gooseberries.  The winning book came from Nigella Lawson, and the winning recipe:  Red-Gooseberry Clafoutis.  There's a good reason why, too.  How to be a Domestic Goddess is the only cookbook I own with a gooseberry recipe.

I served the clafoutis to dinner guests and knew it was a good sign when they took seconds.  And that's a good thing because it wasn't the best looking dessert in the world.  I followed the recipe closely, although I omitted the heavy cream and replaced it with sour cream because that's what my husband brought home from the store.  Every time I ask him to pick up heavy cream, he returns instead with a container of sour cream.  I should learn by now that I need to put a sticky note on his forehead to get him to remember the right kind of cream.  But, no reason to fret, the sour cream worked perfectly.  Also, I threw in a couple handfuls of blackberries from the bushes on our back deck.

The whole thing looked a little too messy and tie-died to me, but I suppose what matters most is that it tasted fifty times better than it looked.

Red-Gooseberry Clafoutis
Adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

1T butter
12 oz red gooseberries
6 large eggs
1/2c cake flour
1/4c sugar
1/2t orange-flower water (I picked up a bottle in France but you could easily omit it)
1t vanilla
1 1/3c sour cream (or heavy cream)
1 1/3c whole milk
powdered sugar for dusting
8-inch diameter pie plate

1.  Preheat the oven to 375F, putting in a baking sheet at the same time.  When it's reached temperature, grease the pie dish with the butter and throw in the gooseberries.  Put in the oven for 10 minutes.

2.  Make the batter the easy way:  put all remaining ingredients into the food processor and blitz until smooth and combined.  When the gooseberries have had their 10 minutes, pour the batter over them, put the dish back on the sheet in the oven, and cook for 35 minutes, by which time the pudding will be just set in the middle and golden brown and puffy at the edges.

3.  Upon cooling, the dessert will sink some, but it's supposed to.  Eat warm or cold, dusted with powdered sugar.


  1. I don't know, Staci – I think it looks absolutely fantastic as it is. And if it tastes even better than it looks... I think I just might have to make this one soon (if I can even find ONE kind of berries in the currently overly-parched state of Colorado, that is).

    I'd also forgotten about the incredible number of berries in Oregon – so many I'd never even heard of! I can't wait to see the recipes you make from home next month.

  2. Thanks, Jackie. A vote of confidence from you is the best! Good luck on finding some berries in CO!

  3. Hi, I just moved to Denmark from the US and I love to bake. I just attempted my first batch of cupcakes, but the consistency is more like a cornbread muffin. What type of flour do you use for your cakes. Please give me the Danish name.

    I was trying to do an internet search to find just this out and ran across your blogspot. I know that I will enjoy going back and reading all about your cooking experiences!

  4. Hi Vanessa! Where in Denmark do you live and how do you like it so far? Finding and choosing flour can be challenging, at least from my experience. My favorite brands are Amo for whole wheat flour, called Hvid Hvedemel and spelt flour, called Speltmel; and Kornkammeret for unbleached, all-purpose flour, called Hvedemel in Danish. It is VERY difficult to find pastry flour, but once in a while I can find something called Kagemel, and that works good (also by Amo, I think). If you live in a bigger city in Denmark you should have no problem finding a wider variety of flours. Good luck and keep in touch!