This "cake" is based on a popover or clafouti recipe. Both of these are custardy, mildly sweet delights that are much simpler to make than they appear. My good friends Joshua and Amanda Levitt (both Naturopathic doctors, and parents to three young children) gave it the cool, kid friendly name "puff cake" which perfectly describes how it looks when it emerges from the oven.
1 1/2 cup flour (try 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat or any combination you like)
1 1/2cup milk or soy milk
3 tablespoons butter or oil plus extra for greasing the pan
3/4 teaspoon salt
fruit: 4 peeled and sliced fruits such as pears, apples, or peaches, or 2 cups of berries, or a mix of both.
spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and ginger are all great additions to this cake. be creative and sprinkle a little bit of any spice you like over the fruit before roasting.
Note: have all ingredients at room temperature if possible. To bring eggs eggs to room temperature quickly, place whole eggs in a dish of very warm water and heat milk slightly to take the chill off.
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter a large heavy frying pan or 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Add sliced fruit, season with spices or sweetener if you like, (cinnamon and sugar or a drizzle of maple syrup works well). Roast in oven until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally if needed. If using only berries, place the baking dish or pan in the oven for 10 minutes while you make the batter. Add the berries to the pan just before pouring in the batter in step #3.
2. Blend all the ingredients together, until smooth (a stick blender, regular blender or wisk all work well) A few lumps are ok.
3. Pour batter into hot pan and return to oven immediately.
bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes. (this high heat gives the cake it's big puff). Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for another 20 to 30 minutes to cook inside of cake. Do not open oven until cooking time is complete or the cake may fall.
4. Remove puffcake from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired or just serve as is. The cake will fall as it cools. Serve with additional fruit, yogurt or even a little maple syrup.
Pear and Raspberry Puff Cake
The recipe I use is based on a popover recipe from "Baking with Julia", a great baking book to have on hand. There is a great Peach Clafouti recipe from Hindinger Farm in the upcoming book "New Haven Cooks/Cocina New Haven" which I have been developing. A clafouti is similar to a puff cake, but less puffy and more custardy. "New Haven Cooks/Cocina New Haven" will be available in January 2010.