I know that the strawberries are finally in season and I should be moving on from the rhubarb. I know that this is my third rhubarb post this month. I know.
The truth is that I have a hard time making it to the greenmarket early enough to get the strawberries. By the time I have recovered from the sleep deprivation of my teaching week, eaten a good healthy weekend breakfast and biked to the nearest greenmarket, all of the overachievers who live with in walking distance to the market have already taken a yoga class, jogged around the park with their dog and bought up all of the strawberries. By the time slackers like me get there, the only “fruit” left is rhubarb.
Perhaps you are like me. Perhaps you wanted to buy fresh local strawberries to make the simplest and most decadent strawberry dessert the other day….but instead you slept in, made huevos rancheros, listened to your favourite reggae radio program, spent some quality time with your cat and THEN went to the greenmarket. Maybe you bought some rhubarb at the greenmarket from last farmer trying to break down his stall. Maybe you were a little annoyed at yourself for missing the strawberries, so you swung by the cut-rate green grocer in your neighborhood to buy some astonishingly cheap strawberries from god only knows where. Maybe you made the delicious strawberry dessert for lunch when you got home and then made a caramelized rhubarb clafouti for tea time!
Listen people, a whole lot of lazy genius went into the invention of this recipe and I am very proud of it, so give it a try! I was thinking about the rhubarb pie that my maternal grandfather (and baking guru) used to make. The BEST part was the bit of oozy rhubarb pie juice that escaped from one of the pie vents or a tear in the crust. This runaway juice would caramelize into concentrated sweet and sour burnt sugar goodness. I wanted to turn all of my rhubarb into that caramelized deliciousness and then bake it into the opposite kind of delicousness….a creamy, cakey custard.
Well, I did it and I hope I get to do it again before rhubarb season is over. This is my new favourite thing to do with rhubarb. If you have a lot of rhubarb, you could increase the amounts and cooking time for the caramelized rhubarb and freeze it. That way you could have this clafouti all year long. The caramelized rhubarb would also be amazing instead of marmalade in this tart. If you have a lot of rhubarb you could also make rhubarb trifle, strawberry rhubarb slump or rhubarb chutney.
CARAMELIZED RHUBARB CLAFOUTI (GLUTEN-FREE)
If you are not gluten-free, just replace the millet and almond flours with all-purpose wheat flour. If you don’t like millet flour another gluten-free flour can be used in its place. I don’t usually like millet flour but I find it works well in clafouti.
- 1 pound rhubarb
- 1/4 cup muscovado sugar (other sugar would work too!)
- the juice of 1/2 of a lemon
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- I Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- 6 eggs
- 6 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 and ¼ cup milk
- a pinch of salt
- ½ cup finely ground almond meal
- ¼ cup millet flour
- powdered sugar for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the rhubarb into one each pieces. Put the rhubarb, muscovado sugar and lemon juice in a baking dish. Bake the rhubarb for one and a half hours, stirring every half hour. The juices will thicken and mix with the sugar to make a caramel sauce. The rhubarb will soften but still have some chunks. Remove the rhubarb from the oven and set aside.
- Turn the oven up to 425 degrees.
- Put the butter in a 9 inch oven proof skillet (preferably cast iron) and place it in the heating oven to melt.
- Blend the eggs, sugar, milk, extracts and salt together.
- Add the flour and blend until entirely smooth (you can use a blender if you like).
- Tip the butter around in the heated skillet to coat all sides of the pan. It’s okay if the butter has browned a bit.
- Pour the extra melted butter into the batter and stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into the buttered hot skillet.
- Spoon lumps of the caramelized rhubarb into the batter.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until the clafouti puffs up and turns golden on top.
- Serve the clafouti right away sprinkled with powdered sugar for full visual effect, or eat it later at room temperature or from the fridge. It will be fallen but it will still be good!