• 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • optional: 1 TBL cognac, rum, or brandy

I acquired, gleaned, harvested, found, accepted, stored, and canned A LOT of apples this summer and fall. In fact, we have not had to purchase any apples in 6 months and we’ve still got a few fresh ones in the bottom of the fridge. I’m quite pleased with my efforts this year in gathering free, fresh food and preserving it. We also have not had to buy pickles or salsa in 5 months, and I’m hoping my jars hold out for another 5 months.

Among the many things I canned; apple pie filling was one of them. However I could not bring myself to use corn starch, corn syrup, or anything too sweet or too thickening, so mostly my “apple pie filling” is really just canned apples in a light juice. I opened one jar and found that the juice was very thin, so now I must find a use for 10 jars of canned apples. Eating mushy apples isn’t very pleasant, so cooking with them is the only way we are going to use them up.

I make a lot of oatmeal for breakfasts during the weekdays. It’s fast and easy and very healthy. I vary it by adding different nuts, seeds, fruit, and grains. This week I felt like adding some fresh apple bits. But then I had the idea of adding some apple juice from one of my jars of canned apples. So I cracked it open, poured the juice into the oatmeal, along with fresh apple chunks, and let it cook for 10 minutes. The oatmeal was great.

Now what to do with the leftover canned apples? I could add them to oatmeal some time, but I didn’t this week. I’m trying to eat less sugar in general, so we aren’t really making a lot of heavy desserts. We don’t have any occasions for a pie or a cake. But I did want something sweet. So I made a breakfast clafouti. It’s like a pie and crepe combined into one delicious custard-like creation. I learned about clafoutis over the summer when I had too many plums. My friend Laura suggested I make a plum clafouti, and we loved it and I made about 6 of them. But with a little less sugar and a little extra milk & egg, it’s a suitable breakfast treat! We also ate it with my freshly brewed plain yogurt, that was ready in the morning.

Using up my canned apples for this was perfect. We ate if for breakfast and have had the rest for snacks or desserts. It’s not too sweet, but it does satisfy a sweet craving.

A Clafouti is not the most photogenic dish. Every picture I’ve ever taken just looks mushy or sloppy. The taste is amazing though, so give it a try some time.

Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 10 inch pie pan. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour enough batter in to cover the bottom of the pan, bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and lower the temperature to 350. Add fruit in a pretty layer, sprinkle with additional sugar and cinnamon if you’d like, then pour all the rest of the batter over the top. Bake another 35 minutes. It will look puffy when it’s done, like a souffle. It will sink a little bit, as it cools, and that is normal. The consistency is much like a custard or crepe. Leftovers can sit out, covered, at room temperature for a day or two, if your kitchen is cool like mine. If your house is warm, put it into the refrigerator, covered.

Variations for this include: pear, plum/prune, cherry, blackberry, peach, nectarine, cranberry, or raspberry.

My recipe is from The Joy of Cooking cookbook. Clafouti comes from the Limousin region in France and originally was made only with unstoned black cherries.