Sweet Pepper and Cheddar Clafouti

April 26th, 2020

A clafouti is a French egg dish. It is usually a sweet batter with cherries or other fruit. Melissa Clark, of the New York Times, recently came out with a new cookbook called Dinner in French; My Recipes by Way of France. In it, she shared this recipe for a savory clafouti with peppers, ham and cheese It is perfect for a Sunday brunch. We have made it twice so far; two Sundays in a row. Adjusting to quiet solitary living has mixed results. We miss meeting with friends, dining in restaurants, shopping and traveling to visit family. But the slow pace of being home has allowed us to relax, read, enjoy the lake and plan, cook and eat interesting meals.

The second time that we made this clafouti we used cooked sausage instead of the ham and roasted red peppers from a jar in addition to the sweet green peppers. But both times we used lots of fresh basil since I have a pot of basil sitting on my kitchen windowsill. You can use anything you have on hand for good results.

I almost skipped the suggestion to garnish the finished dish with crushed red pepper flakes and a squeeze of lemon. Do not ignore this suggestion. The heat of the pepper flakes and freshness of the lemon juice just made it all better. Whatever we can do to “make it all better” is important right now. From my isolated home to yours.


  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup Crème fraîche or Sour Cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 Tbls. flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup coarsely grated sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 oz. sliced ham, chopped
  • 2 Tbls. olive oil
  • 3 sweet peppers, preferabley different colors, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh lemon juice, for serving
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, for serving
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, crème fraîche or sour cream, eggs, flour, basil, 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cheddar and ham.
  • In a 9″ ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the peppers and cook until they are softened and golden at the edges, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic and remaining 1/4 tsp salt and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Scrape the egg mixture into the skillet, and top it with the 1/4 cup remaining cheddar and the Parmesan. (Or, for a more elegant presentation, scrape the vegetables into a gratin or casserole dish and add the egg mixture and cheese to that). Bake until the eggs are set 35 to 40 minutes. (Mine took 45 minutes). Cool slightly then top with the lemon juice and red pepper flakes.

Printable Recipe

Cornmeal Molasses Crumb Muffins

April 15th, 2013

I love rummaging through antique stores.  You never know what you will find; what stories will be revealed.  I was not on a quest for a cookbook, but that is what I came away with.  I found a pristine copy of Country Baking by Ken Haedrich.  There was a convenient love seat nearby so I sat for a while and read through the recipes.  The very first one was for these muffins.  I had eaten a very uninspiring breakfast that morning, so the thought of these cornmeal muffins appealed to me in a big way.  Wholesome cornmeal, whole wheat flour and just a touch of sweetness from the molasses sounded like my kind of quick breakfast.  There was more; lots of recipes for quick breads, yeast breads, pies, cakes, crackers and savory dishes like Deep Dish Sausage and Shrimp Pie.  I knew I needed this cookbook.

I found out something else when I got home.  Ken Haedrich is one of the country’s foremost baking authorities.  He has an online website called The Pie Academy.   It is dedicated to the idea that anyone can learn to make great pies from scratch.  I contacted him by email and he has graciously agreed to do a guest post on my blog in the near future.  Country Baking is now out of print.  He wrote it over 20 years ago.  There are still some books available on Amazon.  But Ken told me that he has three copies left in his supply if you are interested.  It has a different cover but the same content.  They would be $17.00 including postage.  You can contact him at ken@thepieacademy.com  to order your copy.  It is still a relevant baking book and according to Ken, one of his favorites from all of his publications.

I know I was glad that I found this book and had the opportunity to learn more about Ken Haedrich and The Pie Academy.  I look forward to having him share some of his knowledge with us on this blog.  I am also happy to share this great recipe with you.  A muffin and cup of coffee have been my breakfast of choice for the last few days.


Muffin Batter:
1 cup unbleached flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 large egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup flavorless vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses

Crumb Topping:
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1 1/2 tablespoons unbleached flour
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and butter 12 muffin cups.  To make the muffin batter, stir the unbleached flour, cornmeal, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, and spices together in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg lightly, then whisk in the milk, oil, and molasses.  Set aside.

Make the crumb topping by combining the crumb ingredients in a mixing bowl and then rubbing them between your fingers until you have large, damp crumbs.

Make a well in the dry ingredients, add the liquids, and stir with a few deft strokes, just to blend.  Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.  Sprinkle some of the crumb topping on each muffin and bake for 18 to 20 minutes.  When the muffins are done, the topping should be browned lightly and the muffins themselves slightly springy to the touch.  Cool the muffins on a rack in the pan for 5 minutes, after which they should lift right out.  Serve them hot, storing leftovers in a sealed plastic bag for up to 2 days.  To reheat, wrap in foil and place in a hot oven for 5 minutes.

Printable recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.