Recipe: Apricot Clafoutis

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A clafoutis is somewhere between a sweet omelet and a custard. Made with fruit, often cherries or apples, it is a classic throughout France, with small variations from region to region and, sometimes, different names. It can be called flan aux fruits or a flognarde, but most often is known as clafoutis. My recipe is made with canned apricots. Try different brands: some are much better than others. Serve the clafoutis directly from the skillet or unmold it onto a serving plate and serve in wedges.

4 servings

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in an 8-inch nonstick skillet.

Drain the apricots, reserving the syrup. You should have 6 to 8 apricot halves and 1/2 cup syrup. Using a whisk, mix the syrup with the flour in a medium bowl. Add the eggs, sugar, sour cream, and 1 tablespoon of the melted butter from the skillet and mix until you have a smooth batter.

Pour the batter into the butter remaining in the skillet and arrange the apricot halves on top, spacing them evenly. Place the skillet over high heat for about 2 minutes and then transfer it to the oven. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffy. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the confectioners' sugar on top. Cool to lukewarm.

Serve the clafoutis directly from the skillet in wedges or unmold. To unmold, make certain that the clafoutis is free from the sides of the pan; if necessary, run a sharp knife around the edge to release it. Then place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the dessert and invert it onto a plate. Place another plate on top of the inverted clafoutis and invert it again so the crusty side is on top. Remove the plastic wrap, cut into wedges, and serve.

Episode 211: Go Fish

Living close to the Connecticut shore offers Jacques the opportunity to celebrate the bounties of the sea. He loves seafood and begins this menu with a Picante Mussel Pilaf. Next, Jacques surprises viewers with a novel take on a breadcrumb coating for Onion-Crusted Sole with Anchovy Butter. He ends with a popular French dessert that's not quite an omelet, yet not quite a custard -- it's an Apricot Clafoutis.

Minute Recipe: Sweet Crisp Bacon

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I learned how to cook bacon in a microwave oven from my wife and I now never cook it any other way. It's easy and fast and crisps the bacon uniformly. There can be variations in timing from one microwave to another, but regular bacon generally cooks in about 4 minutes and thicker slices require up to 6 minutes. Cook the thick slices for 4 minutes initially and then check them every 30 seconds or so and continue until the bacon is cooked to your liking. Choose as lean a bacon as you can find. I prefer thick-sliced bacon. Brushing the top of the slices with maple syrup or honey imparts a delicious taste.

Arrange 4 bacon slices side by side in one layer on a corrugated microwave tray. Brush with 2 teaspoons maple syrup, turn, and brush on the other side with 2 teaspoons more syrup. Cover loosely with a sheet of paper towel and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Check, cook for another 30 seconds, and then check again. Continue cooking, checking every 30 seconds, until the bacon is well crisped (about 6 minutes total).

4 servings