Muscadine Grape Frangipane Clafoutis

Monday, August 31, 2009

Almond Frangipane and Muscadine Grapes

There is rarely a post without a story around here. I know I had a story for today. Had to have one. As my dad would say "I did not say it was good, I just said there was one". Simple and straight to the fact, which is not how these Muscadine Grapes Frangipane Clafoutis came to be but the result with our friends at dinner last night was actually just that. Simple and straight up good. Oh wait! They are the story. The dessert, the grapes.

A friend wanted me to teach her and her husband how to make souffles. We immediately turned this opportunity to see them into a dinner with a larger group. In return I asked that she helped me out with the huge cross stiching I've been working on for years. Yes, I decided one day to cross stich one famous Charleston street filled with gorgeous ante-bellum houses, and it feels like I have been at it for an eternity! After the first tray of souffles went in the oven, she gave one look at my cross stiching and exclaimed "Well, looks like you have a problem staying within the lines". I gave her the biggest smile and said "Doh! It's me we're talking about. Of course I can't stay within the lines!" She quickly fixed my issues and we proceeded to round two of the souffles lesson.

After the third tray, I could see they both had the hang of it and we moved on to other things. We had made small batches all along and realized we would not have enough desserts for everyone, especially after all the sampling and testing we had done as the lesson progressed. I quickly glanced at the pantry and fridge and decided to assemble another dessert. I was in the mood for clafoutis, Bill was in the mood for something with frangipane. I had bought some really juicy red and green muscadine grapes, the firsts of the season, and decided to add some to my clafoutis-frangipane mix.

Muscadine Grapes

Muscadine grapes are big grapes with somewhat of a thick skin which makes them happily snap and pop when you eat them. Just like with kumquats, it's best to take the time to seed them but luckyly there are little of them inside and they are pretty easy to discard. The season is usually September through October but it looks like our crops here have already started to be bountiful. Happy me! Much like kumquats I just love to pop them in my mouth for a snack but I discovered by pan searing them in honey that they are absolutely wonderful warm on vanilla ice cream. Happier me!

As we were fixing dinner, setting the table, getting drinks and nibbles ready I realized I was not paying attention very well and had completely forgotten to add the green grapes in there and we were munching on the reds I had saved to top the clafoutis-flan-whatever-we were-going to call-this. Improvise, devise. Quick! Alright, so we would bake the dessert and quickly pan sear the green muscadine grapes in honey and top the frangipane clafoutis with those. Ok, that would work. Reds inside, greens outside. Guests in the driveway!

Here is what we were not expecting: when I took the tray out of the oven all the frangipane clafoutis ressembled souffles. It was like the never ending souffle making oven! We gathered around the island and started counting, absolutely sure they would deflate within seconds. One, two, three...ten, thirty. Nothing moved. The beautiful golden crust on top remained puffy and upright.

Almond Frangipane and Muscadine Grapes

Hmmm...where to put those pan seared green grapes now? Bill took the back of a spoon, smashed the tops down as the rest of us looked horrified and spooned the green and saucy grapes in the middle. He looked at me all happy and said "That works! See I can do stuff in the kitchen!"

He was absolutely right! It worked perfectly, except we had no idea how to call what I had just baked so for now it's just Muscadine Grape Frangipane Clafoutis. I am leaving the souffles part aside because I have no idea if the effect will reproduce itself if I make these again or if you decide to try this recipe. I knew the method would make them rise, I did not know ours would never fall!

Almond Frangipane and Muscadine Grapes


One year ago: Lemon Balm Infused Berries with Almond Tuiles.

Muscadine Grape Frangipane Clafoutis:

Serves 4

For the clafoutis:
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
1 oz (30gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (50gr)ground almonds
2 tablespoons (15gr)all purpose flour
pinch of salt
a dozen red Muscadine grapes, halved and seeded

For the pan seared grapes:
1-2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 cup green Muscadine grapes, halves and seeded
3 tablespoons of honey (or to taste)

Prepare the frangipane clafoutis:
Preheat the oven to 340F and position a rack in the center. Lightly coat 4 ramekins with cooking spray or a dab of butter and place them on a baking tray. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, butter and the egg yolks until the mixture is a smooth paste. Add the heavy cream little by little. In a separate bowl, stir together the almonds, flour and salt, add this to the egg yolk mixture and whisk until well blended. In a very clean bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the almond mixture. Divide evenly among your ramekins (make sure to fill them only 3/4 of the way up) and place 3-4 grape halves on top of the batter. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Top with the pan seared green grapes.

Prepare the pan seared grapes:
In a large skillet melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the grapes and sear them for about 5 minutes or until they just start to soften. Deglaze the pan with the honey and remove from the heat.

48 comments:

Colloquial Cook said...

Oh, le fameux trois en un :-) Je suis comme Bill, si on me demande ce que je veux en dessert: frangipane!

C'est pas pour des clous que mon anniv tombe à l'Epiphanie, héhé.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Beautiful and delightful!

Cheers,

Rosa

tara said...

What a happy accident! Yay to your Bill for his improvisational brilliance. The seared grapes sound particularly-good.

patti said...

Oh those beautiful glowing purple orbs! I have muscadines growing in my yard and they are truly the product that I am most proud of in my garden! I love them so much that I just don't know how they could be better, but you make your recipe sound very intriguing! Thank you for the inspiration! I might have to do a muscadine photo shoot of my own!

Valérie said...

A soufflé that never falls... You may have unwittingly achieved a miracle!

I never thought to make frangipane clafoutis, it must be divine!

Kathleen said...

Just discovered your blog this morning. Absolutely gorgeous!

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

Breathtaking as always...I love the way Bill smashed the grapes! A souffle that didn't fall...WOW! Briiliant & very very beautiful.

oneordinaryday said...

I can't even pronounce any of what you've done, but I appreciate the explanations. I learned something and I thank you! : ) They look marvelous!

Char said...

I also love eating these straight off the vine

OakMonster said...

I would totally try to make this...as soon as I can pronounce it. ;-)

Beautiful pics and great story.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

I just discovered Muscadines for the first time last week and am infatuated by them. The flavour, the sweetness, the colors...

Isn't it funny how some of the most interesting creations originate from unexpected results? I accidentally put rose water into a banana nutella brioche pudding the other day (instead of orange blossom water) and it was awesome.

thecookieshopinenglish said...

Falling or not, I'd eat them all!

cindy* said...

those grapes are gorgeous!

"That works! See I can do stuff in the kitchen!"....love it!

Amy J in SC said...

Love muscadines. This looks good.

chika said...

Hello Helene,

I'm not a great fan of clafoutis or flan (can't really tell them apart, though...), but I once made a clafoutis using ground almonds, and enjoyed it a lot. Yours seems to be very much like that one, though mine was nowhere as sophisticated as these! Oh and the grapes look and sound fantastic, too...

Hope your stomachache's all gone now!

Ana said...

Always beautiful!! Love your desserts!!

Ana

Liska said...

How beautiful it looks! It's incredible but your blog is better and better with every new photo. I really can't wait your book!
Warm regards from Poland :)

Alexandra said...

Oh, Helene! The perfect anecdote to read with my morning coffee!

It is the the straightforward simplicity and humor that makes your blog so inviting! You give real life a new sense of dimension.

You're truly a great thinker!

*you're previous post with the pulled sugar was gorgeous and mind blowing! The culry ribbons, the pretty pinks...beautiful

Patricia Scarpin said...

Helen, Bill certainly is a smart guy - he married you, for crying out loud! :D

Love how delicate these look, and I'm in for anything frangipane (I made some tartlets with frangipane filling yesterday, they were really good).

I'm sure your guests had a lovely time!

TheKitchenWitch said...

That picture of those vibrant purple grapes...wow!

Mowie @ Mowielicious.com said...

Gorgeous photos as always - and love the stories too.

Marilyn Miller said...

I made your apricot lavender brown butter tea cakes today, only with raspberries. They are very good and so easy to make. Thanks! I am sure this will be a repeat for a tea party soon.

Engineer Baker said...

How funny! I've never seen muscadine grapes, but since this was the first summer I've seen a number of random "foreign" (to Wisconsin) fruits, I can cross my fingers, right?

veron said...

Did you just defy the laws of physics? A souffle that did not collapse? Whatever it is, it looks delicious!

angela@spinachtiger said...

I bought my first muscadine grapes ever on sat and cooked them savory, but I still have some left. Your idea is great for vanilla ice cream. Love your frangipane clafoutis.

anna said...

Aw, I can see why you and Bill go so well together. That's adorable!

I think I have seen these grapes in stores recently and just wasn't sure what they were. Grapes or huckleberries? I'll have to buy some next time I come across them!

The Purple Foodie said...

I've never heard of Muscadine grapes. Happy to discover it! Te clafoutis looks so very good.

Jules and Ruby said...

looks beautiful. i must try. i love frangipane and i love clafoutis.

Maybe said...

Je ne connaissais pas du tout ces raisins mais le résultat, même s'il n'est pas celui espéré, est super ! Ils sont très très beaux vos petits desserts !

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

Oh Helen. Made it, & we just polished it off. Was divine. I made a Plum/Dried Black Grape Clafoutis, served with unsweetened cream & a plum/dried black grape compote. Thank you for inspiring me. I woke up with a smile this morning & headed straight for the kitchen!!

Tovah said...

I am new to your site and loving it. I haven't gotten the courage yet to try making one of your fabulous desserts but I love reading about them and your gorgeous photos!

Aran said...

My favorite part... B. smashing the tops of the perfectly souffled clafoutis. Why waste time right? Love it! Just got some muscadines today and they are already almost gone!

The Bella Girls said...

I have to watch my husband's moves in the kitchen. However - sometimes, much to my suprise, he does something unique and brilliant like Bill did.

Cheers,
Camberley

Anita said...

Love the photos! Absolutely gorgeous!

lisa (dandysugar) said...

Hooray for happy accidents! Gorgeous clafoutis- the pan seared grapes sound absolutely delicious.

Leica said...

Your pictures are always so lovely :-)

Leica said...

Your pictures are always so lovely :-)

vintage simple said...

What a happy accident..! Lovely photos and story to go with them... So fun to find you..!
-maria

pastry studio said...

Absolutely gorgeous. I love grapes! I have my eye on some concords I spotted in passing yesterday while I was rushing to another destination. You are always a total inspiration.

Celine's Cuisine said...

J'adore la Fangipane, les soufles.. j'adore cette recette mais je trouve que la couleur n'est pas tres "apetissante" dommage, peut etre avec des amandes emondees?

**WE BLOG ARTISTS** said...

LOVE the story!
Great photos...I wish I could have been there to try it all.
Char

redmenace said...

gorgeous! good luck with the needle work. i'm doing lots of that myself lately! late nights....

Apples and Butter said...

What a great story and what a great friend you are to teach your friends about baking. Good luck with the cross stitching!

Tracey said...

Hi Helen! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a sweet comment! And now I've found your amazing blog! I can't wait to go thru and see what incredible French foods you've been whipping up!!! Will you come over and teach me how to makes souffles?!

:) T

Irina @ PastryPal said...

Funny, I just picked up this grape for the first time at the nearby Whole Foods. I've never seen them before. They remind me of hardy concord grapes, and I'm so glad you posted an example of what to do with them. I love discovering new ingredients...

Tartelette said...

Irina: I have seen them under scupernongs too. I think people here enjoy saying muscadine because there is vineyard making muscadine wine (not that great but eh, we take pride in the little things!!).

Thank you all!

RecipeGirl said...

I love finding out about fruits that I had no idea existed... I didn't think I had heard of muscadine grapes before, but I think I've heard of muscadine wine. They're so incredibly pretty. I love how you decribed their pop as you eat them!

persephone said...

I just tried some muscadines for the first time today at the farmer's market and have been entranced with them, can't stop eating them!

Unfortunately my husband not so much, just a little too weird for him apparently, so while researching the grapes online your recipe was about hit 6 on google and as my husband definitely does dessert I just attempted your recipe.

I only had a 1/4 cup cream, so I halved the recipe and as only 1 egg white was needed too, I decided to beat the egg by hand... until stiff. Wow, I think the egg white beat me instead... I had forgotten how long it takes to do that!

(My wrist hurts a lot too now, I wish I was ambidextrous!)

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