Friday, August 15, 2008

Apricot and Blackberry Flognarde

I am sure that the correct pronunciation of flognarde is rather elegant, like most French words. However, I have one of the worst French accents ever, so I've been calling this dish a flog-nard. It's kind of fun to say. FLOG-NARD! Also I am maybe 12.

Anyway, this dish came about after I went a little fruit-crazy at the Greenmarket this past weekend. I brought home a pint of apricots, 5 peaches, and a small yellow watermelon, and I'm just buying enough for myself here. Half the watermelon went into a salad with tomato and feta; the other half is still in my fridge. I ate one peach and turned the rest into peach sorbet (recipe coming soon, it was delicious). But the apricots required a little more work. I couldn't resist eating a few straight from the carton -- I loooove me some apricots -- but I really wanted to make something out of them, something like a clafoutis. I had never made a clafoutis before, and I'm not sure I'd ever eaten one before; I just knew that I had seen lots of recipes floating around the food blogosphere and it seemed like a fairly easy dessert that would work well with apricots. Then I discovered that once you take the cherries out of a traditional clafoutis, you don't even have a clafoutis anymore - you have a flognarde.

This recipe came together based on what I had on hand, using a few different recipes as inspiration. At the last minute I noticed a container of blackberries sitting in the fridge about to go bad; they were my roommate's, but I figured she wouldn't mind my using them. Better than throwing them away, right? The combination of apricot and blackberry was fabulous, and next time I might even try to use these fruits together on purpose. (She didn't mind at all, by the way, especially once I told her to eat as much of the finished flognarde as she wanted.)

I wanted to add a small amount of vanilla extract but I couldn't get the bottle cap off. If your bottle is less stubborn than mine, feel free to add some.

Also, I baked my flognarde in a springform pan, because it was the only round pan I had in a reasonable size. It mostly worked, except for a thin layer of custard that leaked out and settled between the bottom of the pan and the baking sheet it sat on. I ate that thin layer anyway -- it was nice and crispy -- but a regular round dish would probably work out a little better.

Apricot and Blackberry Flognarde
serves 6-8

1 pint apricots
1 cup blackberries
3 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
pinch salt

paring knife
two bowls, one large and one medium-ish
pastry brush
10-inch baking dish
baking sheet

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cut apricots in half to remove pit. If you have larger apricots, cut them again into quarters or eighths.

Separate eggs, putting the whites in the larger bowl and setting the yolks aside.

Melt butter in the microwave on low power in smaller bowl and brush a little bit onto the bottom and sides of baking dish. Arrange apricots and blueberries in the dish, laying fruit in a single layer if possible. Whisk egg yolks in with remaining melted butter.

Add cream, milk, honey, sugar, and salt to bowl with egg whites and whisk until frothy. Whisk in yolk-butter mixture.

Add AP flour and almond flour to batter and mix until most lumps are gone.

Pour batter over fruit, then place the dish in the oven (on a baking sheet if you want, to catch any leaks or spills). Bake for 30 minutes or until the custard sets.