Why am I so crazily mad about French Clafoutis at this time of year? It’s such an easy eggy custard-style classic dark cherry dessert – but it’s also just as delicious made with fresh raspberries – or my latest addictive craze, with strawberries and pistachio. Have you, however, tried it as a savoury dish? You must try this delicate Asparagus Clafoutis.
White Asparagus Clafoutis
You may recall I tried out this large custardy version of a White Asparagus Clafoutis recipe inspired by chef, Eric Frechon from the Bristol in Paris. However, since then I’ve lightened up the recipe.
This time the asparagus shines through with less parmesan cheese and yolks, I’ve added a subtle touch of lemon zest and made them as individual Asparagus Clafoutis portions – just perfect for a summery starter or light supper served with a crusty French baguette.
Just before serving, dribble a little olive oil and some lemon juice over the asparagus. While the clafoutis are creamy enough on their own, the lemon version prefers to stay light – great for those on a summer diet!
Green Asparagus Clafoutis with Parmesan Sauce
Instead, the printable recipe below is for a green asparagus version – this time without the lemon and served with the most silky, creamy parmesan sauce.
This time last year, I was generously invited to take part in Paris Perfect’s cookery classes with Chef Philippe Excoffier in Paris’s 7th arrondissement, where I wrote up this article about the delicious experience.
Chef Excoffier showed us how to prepare asparagus, telling us there was nothing to beat the old-fashioned traditional way and to remove the pedoncules or spikes to make digestion easier. He also served his legendary cheese soufflés – the Soufflés Suissesse. I strongly recommend trying out his signature dish in his restaurant in rue de l’Exposition, near the Eiffel Tower.
Clafoutis is not exactly the most stylish looking of dishes and not to be confused with a soufflé. While a soufflé stays upright and puffy, made with bechamel and whisking up the egg whites, the much easier clafoutis falls back down after cooling from the oven – there’s nothing to worry about when that happens: it’s totally normal and as it should be!
Chef Excoffier added a parmesan sauce to his soufflés and I find that this adapted version compliments the Asparagus Clafoutis so well. Although the clafoutis are already creamy inside and light, this cheesy addition means saucing it all up with the freshest French baguette.
Asparagus Clafoutis Recipe
A perfect elegant yet simple dinner starter or light summer supper served with crusty French baguettes to mop up the most silky creamy parmesan sauce.
- 500 g (1 lb) fresh asparagus
- 3 eggs organic
- 2 egg yolks organic
- 10 g (4 tsp) all-purpose flour (or 2tsp cornflour to make this gluten-free)
- 115 g (4 oz) half-fat single cream
- 50 g (1.75oz) matured parmesan cheese finely grated
- 1 tbsp grated zest of half an unwaxed lemon (optional - for white asparagus version only)
- good pinch each salt and pepper to taste
- 50 g (1.75oz) matured parmesan cheese finely grated
- 140 g (5oz) single cream
- good pinch each ground nutmeg, salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C/360°F/160°C fan/Gas 4. Prepare 4 ramekin oven dishes by greasing them well with softened butter.
Snap the asparagus spears 2/3rds of the way down, where they break naturally. Peel them as close as possible to the spear heads then cut the spears into 3.
Fill a large pan with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add a generous heaped teaspoon of salt to the cooking water. Prepare a large bowl of (preferably iced) cold water.
Cook the asparagus for 3 minutes (no more than 4 minutes!) then remove with a slotted spoon and immediately transfer to the cold water to stop the cooking process.
When cool, drain the asparagus, setting aside 4 spears for the decor and 4 for the ramekins. Place the others in a food processor and mix to a purée with the cream.
Prepare the clafoutis batter: beat the eggs, yolks, flour, grated parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the creamy asparagus mixture then pour the batter into the individual buttered ramekin dishes, placing a third of a spear in each. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly for 5-10 minutes, then using a sharp knife, cut around the edges to remove and place directly on the serving plates.
Bring the cream to the boil, adding some salt, pepper and a pinch of ground nutmeg. Add the parmesan then beat together well until smooth with a balloon whisk. Serve immediately around each clafoutis.
Keep back one asparagus spear per person for the decor.
If making the clafoutis with white asparagus, add lemon zest. There's no need for the parmesan sauce - just serve with a dash of olive oil and lemon juice.
For the green asparagus clafoutis, serve with the parmesan sauce. I used 4 ramekin dishes but muffin moulds also work well, including briochette silicone moulds (this recipe makes 6 if using briochette moulds).
Wine Suggestions: Serve with a rich, aromatic white wine - such as a Chardonnay, Voignier, a Pinot Blanc from Alsace, or white Rioja.
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Have you made any of the recipes from le blog or fancy making this asparagus clafoutis recipe? Please do leave a comment below or take a picture and hashtag it #MadAboutMacarons. I love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks so much for popping in!