At work yesterday, my chef gave me the opportunity to make about two gallons worth of Pastry Cream and Crème Anglaise, all the while popping in with little tidbits of interesting information about the recipes and their various usages. For example,were you aware that crème anglaise serves as the base recipe for both crème brûlée and vanilla ice ream? that the only difference between them is the last step—ice cream is basically just crème anglaise that goes in the freezer and crème brûlée is crème anglaise that’s been baked.

Also, the difference between crème brûlée and flan  (in case you were wondering) is the presence of egg whites. crème brûlée uses only yolks, making it a bit more delicate, whereas the whites in the flan give it extra structure that allows it to be tipped out of its ramekin and served directly on a plate.

Despite my love for sweets, I’m not that knowledgeable at baking or patisserie, so i really appreciate these opportunities to learn a bit more. I love getting my feet wet in the professional kitchen, observing how and why things are the way they are, and of course eating some great food along the way 🙂

Anyway, playing around with the pastry cream reminded me that I never posted about the clafoutis I made recently. I’ve never had a clafoutis before so I’m not sure if my results are what they were supposed to be, but mine had a creamy, custardy texture and a slightly eggy flavour, much like the creams I made yesterday, just enhanced with the sweet and sour tang of fresh cherries.

The cherries posed a slight problem, as they still had pits in and I am not an expert at removing them. I know that a traditional clafoutis leaves the pits in, but I know my family well enough to know they wouldn’t appreciate that, so I went ahead and took them out as best I could. I tried a couple of tips i found online, including catching them with a  bent paperclip and pulling them out (not successful), before finally making up my own poke-them-out-with-the-pointy-end-of-a-meat-thermometer method. somewhat better. Think I may need to invest in a cherry-pitting contraption before I do this again, despite my resistance to collecting a drawer full of single-purpose kitchen tools.

It really was a delicious and easy dessert to make though. I served it warm with some vanilla ice cream. I’m looking forward to trying again with other fruits and berries as the opportunity arises.

(ps- I really wanted to link to the recipe I used, but as it happens I have no idea where it is. Sorry.)