I was telling my friend Tilly that with my children away from the house, either on tour or at university, I really miss baking and cooking for them; so much so that I fantasized about baking goodies and dropping them off to someone’s house under the cover of darkness just to get my baking fix. Tilly of course had a better plan; look into Food banks, homeless shelters or retirement homes who would benefit from my need to bake. She is such a wonderful friend full of wisdom and common sense.
I can think of someone else, Debbie my best friend, who would be loving a certain type of pie, I have been thinking about it for a while, I just have to coordinate my time to do a home delivery to her house; ever since she moved away from next door, it is hard to cook and bake for her the way I used to when it was only a skip and a jump to her front door.
Anyway just as I was writing back and forth with Tilly, my son came home early from his tour and as soon as he got in, I served him a bowl of soup and got to work on an apple clafoutis.
A clafoutis is essentially a batter type cake with fruit in it; traditionally it is full of pitted cherries, but you can make it with apricots, pears or apples. I chose apples because A. I had five apples waiting in the refrigerator for someone to do something with them and B I had picked a bunch of quince from my quince bush and I wanted to bake them into something, so why not a clafoutis.
The clafoutis batter comprises of 4 eggs, 4 tablespoons of sugar, 2/3 cups of flour( I did 1/3 cup of unbleached flour, 1/3 almond meal) 1 cup of milk ( I used 1 cup of buttermilk) and you whisk these together and pour it over the fruit that is in a buttered pie dish.
I looked through various recipes involving quince and apples and they all pointed to a quince compote which calls for peeling and dicing 4 quince and adding them to 4 cups of water, 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 cinnamon sticks that have come to a boil and the sugar has dissolved and you let them cook for about an hour. The house smelled like Christmas and Thanksgiving.
I pulled the quince off the heat, it looked like compote and tasted sweet with a pleasing note of tart and cinnamon. I gently spread the compote on the bottom of the pie dish and then after I peeled, cored and sliced up the apples, I sautéed them for a few minutes in 2 tablespoons of butter before piling them into the buttered pie dish, that is when I poured the batter over the fruit and put it in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes.
My son has been eating soup and has been eating clafoutis since his return; makes a Maman proud and very happy.