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.
500g (1 lb)bundle white asparagus
10g (4 tsp)cornflour
300ml (10 fl oz)single cream
100g (3 oz)fresh parmesangrated
1organic lemon, zest only(unwaxed)
Handful of pine nutsoptional
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.
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 ColonnaMadAboutMacarons.com