I’ve been wanting to make this for a while now; well, since Shrove Tuesday, really. It occurred to me this year – when my late-pregnancy self couldn’t be bothered to prepare the usual selection of toppings to accompany our mound of crepes on Pancake Day – that all we ever really want is the classic sugar and lemon.
In the past I’ve grated cheese, sliced tomatoes, arranged ham, chopped spring onions etc. for the savoury ‘dinner’ element, then made chocolate sauce, chopped bananas, blah blah blah for the sweet ‘pudding’ ones, but our favourite is always the same: simple lemon and crunchy sugar. You can still taste the actual pancake with this combo; maybe that’s why it’s so perfect – who knows?
Anyhow, having dispensed with the pretence of ever wanting anything else atop (and within) my crepes a further thought occurred (I know, I’m full of em!), well it was more of a question, actually: Why not try a Lemon Clafoutis?
After all, what is a clafoutis but a simple batter? Lots of different recipes exist, obviously, but they’re all just varying quantities of flour, sugar, eggs and milk, right? So it’s a pancake! And having just established that the pinnacle of pancake perfection is the simple Lemon and Sugar, surely everyone should be making Lemon and Sugar Clafoutis’ too!
Sooooo, here goes…no messing; just lemon and plenty of sugar (oh, go on, just a swirl of lemon curd too).
Recipe adapted from the Guardian:
- 42g caster sugar
- 1 Lemon, skin removed and flesh cut into small segments
- 15g butter, melted, plus extra to grease
- 3 tbsp demerara, or granulated, sugar
- 25g plain flour
- Small pinch of salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 135ml whole milk
- Finely grated zest of lemon (optional)
- Swirl of lemon curd
Preheat oven to 180 deg (160 FAN) and set an overhead grill to its highest setting.
Butter a small baking dish or sandwich tin (20cm or smaller) thoroughly, and sprinkle a little demerara sugar on the top, then set aside.
Make the batter as if it’s a crepe mixture; i.e. sift flour into a bowl then add the salt and caster sugar. Crack the egg into the centre and whisk into the flour, gradually adding the milk and finally the lemon zest (if using). Continue to whisk until a smooth batter is formed.
Char the lemon segments by sprinkling with half the demerara, or granulated, sugar and pop under the hot grill until lightly ‘burned’, er, I mean caramelised. Alternatively, you could use a blowtorch, which is much faster and easier. This will free some juice from the lemon, so just tip this away (or save it to make lemon syrup!) and transfer the charred lemon pieces to the buttered baking dish.
Pour the batter over the top then swirl a few small dollops of lemon curd in and around the tin.
Bake at 180 deg (160 FAN) until just set, but still wobbly…approximately 20-25 mins. Remove from oven and spinkle with the remaining demerara sugar and maybe a dusting of icing sugar. Serve with some thick full fat yoghurt, or cream, to a happy expectant face. Smile yourself…it should be good!!
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