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Today: Amanda digs into a daring renovation of the clafoutis.
I'm not going to make the obvious sales pitch for the Brown Butter Candied Apple Clafoutis from Aran Goyoaga's excellent new book, "Small Plates and Sweet Treats." No, I don't care that it's gluten free, although it's nice that it is and that's handy for some. No, I care that it's a great little recipe.
Taking a classic like the clafoutis and reshuffling its very core is risky business. But Goyaoaga does it with such care and intelligence that you have to admire her gutsiness. In replacing flour with almond flour and milk with coconut milk, the clafoutis becomes less custard and more frangipane. Gayoaga has you brown the butter before dropping in the apples, and has you sprinkle the fruit with raw sugar. Together, the butter and sugar infuse the apples with nuttiness, caramel and a depth that cuts through their sweetness. This kind of thoughtfulness can be found throughout her book, and also in the photos and recipes on her wonderful blog, Cannelle et Vanille.
Here's how to make the clafoutis:
First arrange all of your ingredients in a pretty fashion. Nah! We just do that to entertain you. Peel your nice green, tart Granny Smiths.
Core them -- I like to use a melon baller. And slice them -- I love the sound of cutting a crisp apple.
Brown the butter until it smells gloriously nutty. Add the apples, with some sugar and apple juice and brown them up.
Mix the eggs and sugar. Whisk like mad!
Add the almond meal and tapioca starch, then some reduced apple juice and coconut milk.
Pour the batter into a lavishly buttered baking dish. Drop the apples on top.
Remove from the oven and admire!
Adapted from "Small Plates and Sweet Treats" by Aran Goyoaga
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened apple juice
1/4 stick unsalted butter, plus more for lining pie dish
4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons natural cane sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
Photos by Linda Xiao