asparagus clafoutis vegetarian recipe

White Asparagus French Clafoutis

When the asparagus season finally pokes its head out to say bonjour, it’s time to get totally asparagused. Hearing the calls of ‘Aspergez-vous!’ at our local market just outside Paris, I do what I’m told and end up buying so much asparagus that I could open a shop with all the elastic bands they’re bound in.

Weigh-laden with our usual favourites from Monsieur Dee’s poultry stall, I couldn’t help swooning over impressively fat, fresh white asparagus spears which are first to arrive pride of place from sun-kissed Provence.

It’s time to snap these asparagus stems. Snapping asparagus is easy when they’re fresh: they should be firm, have compact heads and not look dry at the stems. Just snap them where they break naturally, about 1/3 from the bottom. Ideally, eat asparagus fresh on the day, otherwise store white asparagus in the fridge for up to 4 days in a humid kitchen towel, heads upwards.

I love tossing fresh white asparagus in sage butter and serving simply with a crunchy baguette, but this is a warmer starter to welcome this chilly Spring. I discovered the recipe in a magazine last year featuring Eric Fréchon, chef at Le Bristol, Paris. But could I find the magazine that I’d painstakingly placed in a ‘safe place’ for this season? No (don’t laugh, Mum). Luckily, I jotted it down and see he’s written a book on Clafoutis.

Macaron lovers will be glad to note that it uses up FOUR egg yolks, but don’t be fooled: this is such a light way to start a meal – and it’s gluten free, too.

White Asparagus Clafoutis Recipe

Serves 4-6

Recipe Adapted by Eric Frechon, Author of Clafoutis.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

1 bundle white asparagus (500 g /1 lb)
3 eggs
4 egg yolks
10 g (4 tsp) cornflour

300 ml /10 fl oz single cream
100 g /3 oz fresh parmesan, grated
Seasoning
Handful of pine nuts (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Wash the asparagus spears and snap them 2/3rds of the way down, where they break naturally. Peel them as close as possible to the spear heads. Keep the peelings!

2. Cut the asparagus in 3, reserving the spear heads.

3. Fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil with the asparagus peelings, adding a tablespoon of sugar (to reduce the bitterness).
When bubbling, remove the peelings and cook only the spears for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.

4. Using the same cooking water, drop in the rest of the asparagus chunks and cook for 7 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the clafoutis batter: mix the eggs, cornflour, cream, grated parmesan and season with salt and pepper.

6. Drain the asparagus chunks and, using a hand blender or food processor, mix the asparagus and cream together.

7. Pour into a non-stick tart dish and decorate with the asparagus spears. I like to sprinkle over some lightly toasted pine nuts for a crunchy texture.

8. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes until golden.

 Note: If making individual versions, pour into 6 silicone briochette moulds and bake for only 20 minutes. Turn them out directly on guests’ plates for a posh but simple starter.

Enjoy this asparagus clafoutis either warm or hot from the oven and serve with a glass of chilled Pinot Blanc from the Alsace.

Cheers!

Now it’s your turn to snap them this Spring and become totally asparagused!

 Aspergez-vous!

25 replies
  1. Denise
    Denise says:

    This version of clafoutis was more like a custard, very creamy and somewhat cheesy (parmesan). The asparagus is a very mild taste (my first time experiencing). No crust. I think it would be nice baked in individual molds for an appetizer course and interesting presentation. Jill, pine nuts sprinkled on top was a good suggestion. I probably could have baked longer and let top brown a little more. Maybe when I warm it.

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Isn’t it lovely, Denise? I think the custardy parmesan brings out the asparagus well and yes, as with a clafoutis, there’s no crust. I’ve also made individual versions, which are rather chic – albeit they take longer to prepare. Interesting on baking for longer, as all ovens are slightly different, it’s a question of knowing what’s best for yours. So glad you like it!

      Reply
  2. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I’ve never had clafoutis until I started blogging, and made one with cherries and whole family love it now. I would LOVE to try savory version. I haven’t yet tried white asparagus and I think it’s great combination with clafoutis. Can’t wait to find white asparagus so I can try this recipe Jill!

    Reply
  3. Mum
    Mum says:

    I am laughing because you put your recipe in a “safe place”. Like mother, like daughter – I knew you would come back to my world one day. I love white asparagus but difficult to find here especially when the weather has been so so cold. Feel a trip to your country coming on.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hm. It’s a worsening habit, Mum. All your fault. Please tell Dad I’m still looking for his Xmas present as the one I gave him was just to pretend I’d found it. I hid it well this time, right?

      Reply
  4. Gourmantine
    Gourmantine says:

    Jill, I love your idea of savory clafoutis and it’s a great way to use asparagus (which are finally appearing everywhere here too, yay!) We usually grill/roast ours and serve with classic french vinaigrette (french love their classics, you know 🙂

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      I would love to say it’s my idea but it’s from Chef, Eric Fréchon. Classics? Well as I’m not French and hubby IS French but doesn’t do the cooking, I can do what I want, right? 😉

      Reply
  5. Cupcake Crusher
    Cupcake Crusher says:

    Hmmm… This sounds delicious! I’m dying to try that out: not only are you a talented patisserie-maker, but your also a great savoury-treat maker!

    Reply
  6. Liz
    Liz says:

    Oh, boy, this looks marvelous, Jill! And I love the idea of sauteing asparagus in sage butter, too…two yummy ideas! I’m ready for summer!!!! Or at least some warmer weather would be nice 🙂

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more, Liz. We’re the same, waiting impatiently for warmer climes. What happened to Paris in the Spring this year?

      Reply
  7. Taking On Magazines
    Taking On Magazines says:

    Wow, that looks amazing. I’ve never seen a savory clafoutis and I love it. I also like the simple ingredients that go into the filling, allowing the asparagus to shine. It looks absolutely delicious. My brother’s family will be headed to Paris this fall. Hopefully in the next year or so it’ll be our turn.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      I can’t stop eating this, to be honest and love that it’s so easy and minimal ingredients, too. Hope you get in touch when you come to Paris!

      Reply

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