Friday, September 14, 2012

Celebrating Julia's 100th - Making Blueberry Flan

It was with great joy that we celebrated and reflected on the 100th anniversary of Julia Child’s birth last month. She left a great contribution to home cooks, and so many learned so much from her experience. Her book (written with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle) Mastering the Art of French Cooking helped American cooks better understand French cooking. More importantly, I think Julia Child inspired us and gave us the confidence to take on dishes that seemed complicated. It is still a joy to watch videos of her cooking programs and continue to learn from her.

As the world seemed to be recognizing her contributions on what would have been her 100th birthday, it seemed fitting to make one of her recipes for Cavalcade of Food. I wanted something relatively straightforward but decidedly French. This blueberry flan recipe could also be made with a few hands taking part, as the cottage was filled with company that weekend! We put our friends Mark and Melanie into service for this one – and together paid homage to one of the great culinary teachers and mentors of all time – Julia Child!


Julia Child’s Blueberry Flan (Clafoutis aux Myrtilles)

1 TBSP unsalted butter (for the baking dish)

3 eggs (at room temperature)

1 cup flour

1 ¼ cup milk (use whole or at least 2%)

2/3 cup sugar (divided)

1 pint fresh blueberries

1 TBSP vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Generously butter the inside of a 9x9 baking dish and set aside. Using an electric blender, combine eggs, flour, milk, 1/3 cup of sugar, vanilla and salt. Blend on high speed until all is combined (you may need to scrape the sides a couple of times). If you don’t have access to a blender, you can do this in a large bowl with a wire whisk – beat vigorously until flour is completely incorporated into the batter.

Pour enough batter into the baking dish to cover bottom with a depth of about a quarter inch. Place baking dish on stove top, and over low heat, warm batter until it just begins to cook and film begins to form on the bottom. Immediately remove from stove top. Distribute berries evenly over top of batter and then sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup sugar over berries. Pour remaining batter evenly over the berries. Place in oven 45-50 minutes.

Top of flan should be lightly brown and an inserted knife should come out clean. The flan will slightly deflate as it cools, but it is best served while warm. Serve dusted with powdered sugar, or topped with fresh whipped cream or your favorite ice cream. Bon appetite!

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