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White Asparagus French Clafoutis with Lemon

  • Picnics
  • Starters (Appetizers)
  • Mains
  • Spring
  • Gluten free
5

When the asparagus season cheekily pokes its head out to say bonjour, it’s time to get totally asparagus-ed with this White Asparagus Clafoutis with Lemon.

Hearing the calls of ‘Aspergez-vous!’ at our local market just outside Paris, I do what I’m told and end up buying so much asparagus that I could open a shop with all the elastic bands they’re bound in.

white asparagus clafoutis slice


Weigh-laden with our usual favourites from Monsieur Dee’s poultry stall, I couldn’t help swooning over impressively fat, fresh white asparagus spears which are first to arrive pride of place from sun-kissed Provence.

White Asparagus French Clafoutis

Snapping white asparagus French Clafoutis!

It’s time to snap these asparagus stems. Snapping asparagus is easy when they’re fresh: they should be firm, have compact heads and not look dry at the stems. Just snap them where they break naturally, about 1/3 from the bottom. Ideally, eat asparagus fresh on the day, otherwise store white asparagus in the fridge for up to 4 days in a humid kitchen towel, heads upwards.

Serve as Individual Portions for a Touch of French Elegance

I also love to serve them as INDIVIDUAL PORTIONS – it’s perfect for entertaining or wanting to show that you’ve made that little bit extra effort for a dinner party or special occasion.

This turns a simple family dish into a wowzer summery lunch or light starter.

How to prepare asparagus

Stacked as they are sold at our local market

A Perfect Light Lunch for Asparagus Season

Just before serving, dribble a little olive oil and some lemon juice over the asparagus. While the clafoutis are creamy enough on their own, you can add some lemon zest to the batter, and forget the parmesan sauce for a lighter version – great for those on a summer diet!

Lemon Asparagus Clafoutis

Paris Chef Inspiration for White Asparagus

I love tossing fresh white asparagus in sage butter and serving it cold with a crunchy baguette – but this is a warm starter to welcome this chilly Spring. I discovered the recipe in a magazine last year featuring Eric Fréchon, chef at Le Bristol, Paris. But could I find the magazine that I’d painstakingly placed in a ‘safe place’ for this season? No (don’t laugh, Mum – I’m turning out like you more every day!) Luckily, I jotted it down and see he’s written a book on Clafoutis.

I love how the recipe is “chefy” in that he cooks the asparagus spears with the peelings.  However, I’ve added a touch of lemon zest to it which I personally adore with parmesan and white asparagus.  Try it and see!

Perfect Yolk Recipe for Macaron Lovers Who Need Egg Whites

Macaron lovers will be glad to note that it uses up FOUR egg yolks, but don’t be fooled: this is such a light way to start a meal – and it’s gluten free, too.

white asparagus French clafoutis

add some pine nuts and lemon to this white asparagus clafoutis

White Asparagus French Clafoutis with Lemon

Recipe Adapted by Eric Frechon, Author of Clafoutis. Here I’ve added the zest of a lemon as, added to parmesan and white asparagus, is a match in Spring heaven.

Asparagus Clafoutis

white asparagus clafoutis slice
5 from 1 vote

White Asparagus Clafoutis with Lemon

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course : Side Dish, Starter
Cuisine : French
Servings : 6

Description

A deliciously light starter to celebrate the asparagus season this spring. Recipe Adapted by Eric Frechon, author of "Clafoutis" and executive chef at the Bristol in Paris. I've added lemon zest, delicious with both parmesan and white asparagus.

Ingredients

  • 500 g (1 lb) bundle white asparagus
  • 3 eggs organic
  • 4 egg yolks organic
  • 10 g (4 tsp) cornflour
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) single cream
  • 100 g (3 oz) fresh parmesan grated
  • 1 organic lemon, zest only (unwaxed)
  • Seasoning
  • Handful of pine nuts optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/140°C fan/gas 3. Wash the asparagus spears and snap them 2/3rds of the way down, where they break naturally. Peel them as close as possible to the spear heads. Keep the peelings!
  • Cut the asparagus in 3, reserving the spear heads.
  • Fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil with the asparagus peelings, adding a tablespoon of sugar (to reduce the bitterness).
  • When bubbling, remove the peelings and cook only the spears for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Using the same cooking water, drop in the rest of the asparagus chunks and cook for 7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the clafoutis batter: mix the eggs, cornflour, cream, grated parmesan, lemon zest and season with a little salt and pepper.
  • Drain the asparagus chunks and, using a hand blender or food processor, mix the asparagus and cream together.
  • Pour into a non-stick tart dish and decorate with the asparagus spears. I like to sprinkle over some lightly toasted pine nuts for a crunchy texture.
  • Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until golden.

Notes

If making individual versions, pour into 6 silicone briochette moulds and bake for only 25 minutes. Turn them out directly on guests' plates for an elegant but simple starter (or prepare in advance and reheat before serving).
Enjoy this asparagus clafoutis either warm from the oven and serve with a glass of chilled Pinot Blanc from the Alsace or Chenin Blanc.
Jill Colonna
MadAboutMacarons.com

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Reviews (26)

This version of clafoutis was more like a custard, very creamy and somewhat cheesy (parmesan). The asparagus is a very mild taste (my first time experiencing). No crust. I think it would be nice baked in individual molds for an appetizer course and interesting presentation. Jill, pine nuts sprinkled on top was a good suggestion. I probably could have baked longer and let top brown a little more. Maybe when I warm it.

Isn’t it lovely, Denise? I think the custardy parmesan brings out the asparagus well and yes, as with a clafoutis, there’s no crust. I’ve also made individual versions, which are rather chic – albeit they take longer to prepare. Interesting on baking for longer, as all ovens are slightly different, it’s a question of knowing what’s best for yours. So glad you like it!

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