Sunday, May 04, 2008

Medjool Date Clafoutis

The always affable Anh from Food Lovers Journey is our host for this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I have a deliciously soft, sweet and sticky fruit, Medjool Dates

medjool dates

What's not to love about these plumb and succulent dates - they are perfect just savoured in this natural state.

Break one open and you'll find a long narrow pit that is easy to remove

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The flesh is moist and fibrous with an intense richness to its flavour.

Nutritionally they contain Vitamins A, B6 and K, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin and Thiamin as well as Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

Since I do adore Medjool dates I thought I might try to use them in a dish that admittedly, I'm not fond of - that dish is Clafoutis. There's no logical reason for me to dislike it, it's made with eggs and cream, sort of like a custard but my experience with making them has turned me off them.

Perhaps it was just the recipe I used. So I've scoured my trusted sources and eventually came down to two choices - Michel Roux or Shannon Bennett. Ultimately the simplicity of Shannon's recipe won me over and there is the added bonus that is gluten-free!

You can find the original recipe here on the Vue de Monde website - I have made one obvious change in that dates have replaced the rum-soaked raisins and the other is in using mascarpone rather than double cream. Cooking time was also increased and needed close to double the time - the end result, well, you be the judge.

Medjool Date Clafoutis

Medjool Date Clafoutis
[Serves 2]

3 Medjool dates, pitted and sliced
125ml mascarpone
4 teaspoons almond meal
15 grams caster sugar
1 egg

I've used a 15cm/6inch low-sided ramekin for this recipe.

Butter the base and sides of your baking dish well and then scatter over with the dates - be careful with the quantity of dates as they are quite sweet and when heated the flavour does intensify.

medjool dates

Place the remaining ingredients into a bowl and beat until just combined.

Pour the mixture evenly over the dates.

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes in a preheated 165°C/325°F oven. After 25 minutes I found that the clafoutis was still basically raw so I removed the foil and left it for another 10 minutes. As it was just starting to set I increase the temperature to 180°C/350°F and it took another 10 minutes to cook completely and for the top to brown.

The 45 minute mark doesn't seem unreasonable as Michel Roux's version takes a similar amount of time.

medjool date clafoutis

Remove from the oven - dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.

So what was the verdict? Has this recipe won me over?

medjool date clafoutis

I can very safely say that this particular recipe has hit the right spots. The dates when heated almost dissolve in your mouth and mix in with that warm custard-like clafoutis batter. The natural sweetness of the dates has just exploded. This simple dish will easily satisfy two people.

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16 comments:

  1. Oh, YUM. I don't like custard -- not too fond of eggs -- but this sounds right tasty. My favorite thing to do with Medjool dates is to put a tiny pat of cream cheese in them and just eat them like that -- but what fun to find another way to enjoy them!

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  2. I also adore Medjools, as they are (I've also tried them in a recipe from Casa Moro, soaked in coffee and spices, yum) and I've had a similar aversion to clafoutis after a horribly eggy attempt with a cherry clafoutis recipe. But your version seems deliciously reassuring Haalo!

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  3. Hi Haalo, I found you through our mutual friend Heart n soul who awarded you with the E Excellent Award. Congratz. You have a very lovely blog here and some delicious recipes. I love dates and custard. www.kopiaste.blogspot.com

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  4. Thanks T - sounds delish!

    Thanks Heart - I must check out that recipe!

    Thank you Ivy and welcome!

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  5. Oh, you're so right! What's not to love about these dates. They look scrumptious and so does your clafoutis.

    Paz

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  6. This looks delicious! I love dates. It's one of the things I really remember from my childhood. My mother used to make little tarts with dates, nuts and raising and probably custard too, although at the time I didn't realize it.

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  7. Dates and custard.. a perfect match, even if I admittedly am not too huge on clafoutis either (though strangely enough, I love making it for other people. I think it's because it's so satisfyingly easy and heart warming)

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  8. these dates look lovely - we had them fresh with brie last weekend and they were amazing!

    i am not a clafoutis fan but I wouldn't say no to this dessert either!

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  9. Lovely! Not a huge fan of clafoutis myself but I have eyed off that Shannon Bennet recipe once or twice. Might give it a try, if it's managed to win you over!

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  10. Thanks Paz!

    Thanks Kalyn - those tarts sounds divine!

    Thanks Y - i think the problem I have with clafoutis is that it can taste of nothing, maybe too floury or too eggy and I think I could make something nicer with the ingredients.

    Thanks Johanna - any cheese with these dates are a perfect marriage.

    Thanks Ellie - it certainly impressed Paalo he wanted me to make another one tonight! I do quite like the idea of Shannon's rum and raisin version so that might be worth a go.

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  11. I loove dates. They are so naturally sweet and amazing. I especially love them in sticky toffee pudding, I just wish they weren't so darn expensive.

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  12. What an interesting clafouti recipe! I've never seen it with mascarpone and almond meal. I'll have to give that a try.

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  13. Hi Sophie - oh sticky date pudding is the best!

    Thanks Lauren - the original recipe calls for double cream but the mascarpone worked quite well. Hope you give it a go!

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  14. I've never tried cooking medjools before. To me the best combination with medjools is goats' cheese, it's a match made in heaven. I'm not really one for home baking but I may well try cooking them in some way or another one of these days.

    P.s. the photo of the dissected date is award worthy!

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  15. Medjool dates are utterly luscious, as are your photos.

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  16. Thanks Trig - apart from sticky date pudding that's the only cooked date recipe I know but I haven't used Medjool dates in that.

    Thanks Susan!

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