Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving Breakfast’

Michael Chiarello's Apple ClafoutisThe holiday of Thanksgiving does not exist in Ireland. On what is the fourth Thursday in November, adults all across the country go to work, kids go to school, and homemakers go about the business of homemaking. But for those of us with American roots, Thanksgiving in Ireland is more than just a “regular day”…it is THE day we long to reach across the Atlantic and touch a bit of home.

Yesterday morning our little family began the day with a celebratory {but light} Apple Clafoutis for breakfast, courtesy of Michael Chiarello. For those not familiar with him, Michael is an award-winning American chef and restauranteur. His hugely popular Bottega Restaurant in Yountville, California (Napa Valley) serves up rustic, inventive, delicious food. The decor, which in my {humble} opinion is just as important as the food, is sexy and intimate, and not at all claustrophobic. Note to all you single-but-dating travel bugs…Bottega would be an ideal place to pop the question, if you can get a reservation!

Anyway, I digress, the point is yesterday morning I wanted to give my family something light with a bit of sweetness…something reflecting the mood of the holiday but not heavy. After all, we were going to eat a HUGE meal when everyone finally got home.

Michael Chiarello’s Apple Clafoutis, which is technically a dessert, was the perfect dish for our Thanksgiving breakfast. Michael says on his own website that this dish, “is a French-country farmers favorite”. True or not, it certainly will be in our Irish home for years to come. I hope you will enjoy it too. Belated Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Michael Chiarello’s Apple Clafoutis

Serves: 6



1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 cup milk


1/4 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apple (1/2-inch dice; about 1 large apple)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon grappa, Calvados, or other fruit brandy (I substituted apple juice)

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

1/3 cup crème fraîche


1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

2. Make the batter: Sift the flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, and milk until well blended. Add about one-third of the egg mixture to the flour mixture and whisk to form a paste, then gradually incorporate the remaining egg mixture. Whisk until well blended.

3. Cook the apples: With the tip of a knife, scrape the vanilla bean seeds from the pod into an ovenproof 10-inch cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet. Add the pod and the butter and cook over moderately high heat until the butter turns nut brown. Add the apple and cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes to soften them. Remove the vanilla bean pod and discard. Sprinkle the apples with the granulated sugar, reduce the heat to moderately low, and cook until the apples are about three-fourths done and the sugar has melted and is coating the apples in a light syrup. Add the grappa or other brandy, swirl the pan briefly, then spread the fruit evenly in the pan.

4. Remove the pan from the heat. Working quickly, pour the batter through a sieve evenly over the fruit. Bake until the edges of the clafoutis are puffed and browned and the center is set, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven.

5. Put some confectioners’ sugar in a sieve and generously dust the surface of the clafoutis. Serve warm directly from the pan with a dollop of crème fraîche.

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