martedì, febbraio 03, 2009

Everything's gonna be alright

Buttermilk is awesome. I love the pants off it and it has given me back my love of baking, previously just for girls. A cup and a half of buttermilk makes things taste as yummy as a cup and a half of cream with a quarter of the fat, three times the digestibility, and an extra lovely piquancy - a sort of tamed sourness. To us woppy types, good food is all about digestibility. We talk about the progress of various dishes through our innards and bowels the way the British talk about the weather. To me that seems quite natural. Sure, something can taste like Heaven-on-a-stick, but if a few hours later you're bloated like a beached whale in the sun and wondering if you'll ever take a shit again, it's got to play in to your opinion towards that dish, the same way texture or taste or appearance does. Because blockages, as Screamin' Jay says, are real pain.

If Iron Chef was serious about quality, they'd do a time lapse and get the judges' opinions next day, after they'd attempted their morning evacuations. And the digestibility issue is yet another reason I despise those French people who insult Italian cuisine, which they sneer is 'too simple'. Northern French cuisine is certainly much more complicated, and indigestible into the bargain. Their desserts are indigestible. Their sauces are indigestible. Their pastries are indigestible. Their breads are indigestible. I really don't like it, and while it may seem crude to point out that their cuisine makes taking a shit more difficult, I think it's fundamentally less crude than half the city of Paris walking around in a constipated rage, which I think explains why Parisians are so famous for being such fundamentally unpleasant people.

Anyways, buttermilk products progress through the innards and bowels beautifully. Top marks. And using it has helped me arrive at what I feel is the perfect clafouti recipe, in that it's easy, delicious and digestible. A real woppy bastardization of a French cream-laden intestine-blocking classic.

3 eggs
pinch salt
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup flour
1 to 2 cups fruit

Grease a 10 inch or thereabouts deepish pie plate, and pre-heat oven to gas mark 3 (or, you know, just low heat). Prepare fruit by peeling it, coring it, etc. The traditional clafouti fruit is cherries, but really you can use whatever fruit you like here - I've used bananas, mangos, apples, nectarines, basically any starchy fruit - and dicing it into smallish chunks. My favourites are with blueberries or blackberries or cherries, and that's even easier because they don't need dicing, besides the stoning of the cherries, though purists say you shouldn't. Weirdos. Anyhoo. This isn't a purist recipe. This is a digestible recipe. Once the fruit is prepared cover the bottom of the greased baking dish with it.

Beat eggs, then beat in salt, honey, buttermilk, and flour progressively. At this point you can also add a touch of extra flavour you feel compliments the fruit you've chosen; cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla - consult your taste. Pour the batter over the fruit in the baking pan, and pop it into the pre-warmed oven, leaving it there for half an hour or so, or until it isn't runny in the middle when you poke it with a fork - you want moist but not runny - a firm custardy sort of texture. And then it's done. Easy peasy.

2 commenti:

guilty noodles ha detto...

buttermilk is fantastic. i've used it to make homemade dressings, for fried chicken and a lemon blueberry bundt cake. this is all making me very hungry.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Dressings? That's a good idea. I haven't done much - only just discovered it. My mum bought some by accident when she was visiting a couple of months ago and left it in the fridge - I was too cheap to throw it out so I looked up some recipes, and voila, love.