This story originally appeard in the Orlando Sentinel’s Florida magazine Sunday, August 17, 1997.
CATCH OF THE DAY – HIS KITCHEN SKILLS WERE RUSTY, SO HE ENROLLED IN A NEW YORK CULINARY – PROGRAM.TO TEST HIS PROGRESS, HE DECIDED TO THROW A DINNER PARTY. BUT THESE – WEREN’T JUST ANY GUESTS….
I must be crazy. What was I thinking?
Im in a kitchen, preparing a dinner that is scheduled to be served at 7 p.m. Its 5 oclock. Im serving a four-course dinner and only the soup course is ready, and thats only because I made it yesterday and its to be served cold.
But the entree, which will require turning pork chops into compact disks that will be sauced with a prune cream gravy, isnt close to ready. The rice isnt cooked, the vegetable isnt even prepped, the salad dressing isnt made and the cherries that will be the major star of the dessert still have pits in them.
If my guests were just some friends over for a night of conversation and food, it would be only minor cause for concern. If it really got down to it, I could just throw out the menu and order a pizza.
But the guests I have coming this evening are four of Central Floridas most reputable chefs. Theyve been invited to eat this dinner that I have not yet prepared and critique me.
Its a little bit judge not lest ye be judged by others and a little bit walk a mile in the other mans shoes.
Its a little bit insane too.
Now, Ive done a certain amount of preparation before taking on this task. I carefully considered the menu. I selected all the ingredients, buying only the best available. And I did something else that I thought might make the dinner go a little more smoothly: I got on a plane and flew to New York City for a five-day cooking course at Peter Kumps Culinary Institute.
It may not have been enough.
I LOVE TO COOK. I ENJOY IMMERSing myself in a good recipe or preparing a dinner for friends. I like to do everything from scratch, chopping fresh vegetables and seasonings with a knife rather than in a food processor. If the kitchen doesnt look like a disaster area when dinner is finished, then it wasnt a successful dinner.
But as a restaurant critic, I dont get an opportunity to cook much. Just about any night of the work week Im out eating at restaurants around Central Florida. And because its necessary to eat so much rich, heavy food in my job, I tend to eat light on weekends. So if any cooking is to be done at all, it is simplistic and uninteresting. Just enough to get by.
Though never professional by any standards, I felt as though I was losing what skills I had and was picking up some bad habits inefficient handling of the chefs knife, not properly folding an omelet, not holding the wrist straight while opening a can of soup. The knowledge was fading as a result of disuse.
So thats why I decided to take a cooking class at Peter Kumps Culinary Institute in New York City. Peter Kumps has a fine reputation ( Kump , who died two years ago, was the founder of the James Beard Society, which furthers culinary excellence through workshops and national awards) and the school was offering just the class I was looking for: a week-long, intensified course of cooking basics focusing on classic French principles, theories and techniques. This is a course usually offered one da y a week over a five-week period, not very practical for a Florida commute. But in the summer the school crams the course into five consecutive days, an enticement for the out-of-towner looking for an excuse to visit New York.
The dinner Im preparing for the chefs is based entirely on recipes and skills learned at Peter Kumps. Were going to start with gazpacho, a chilled tomato and vegetable soup. The main course will feature noisettes of pork with prune cream sauce accompanied by tarragon rice (boiled in the French method) and stuffed tomatoes Provencale. The entree will be followed by an endive salad with creamy shallot vinaigrette, and dessert will be a classic clafouti (kla-foo-TEE), a sort of cherry cobbler fro m the Limousin region of France.
PETER KUMPS HAS TWO CAMPUSes in New York, one on East 92nd Street and one in the Chelsea district at 50 W. 23d St., where my class was held. It was an easy walk from the apartment where I stayed in Greenwich Village.
Walking along the streets of Manhattan, I felt like many of the kids I passed heading to their own schools, though I differed from them in that in my backpack I was carrying knives. (Or maybe I wasnt so different.)
Id brought the knives from my kitchen in Orlando. We were told to bring a chefs knife and a paring knife to the class. We also were told to bring our own apron and dish towel, which was to be used primarily as a pot holder.
The school was located on the 12th floor of a midrise about a block from the famous Flatiron Building (that triangular structure youve seen pictures of). There were three kitchen classrooms, each similar except that one had windows with a wonderful view of the New York skyline.
Not mine, however. It was in the center of the building and windowless, although I could see some wooden water towers on the tops of buildings through a doorway leading into the dishwashing area.
The room had three identical cooking stations, each with a sink, a large gas oven/range and a big preparation island with a metal surface. Underneath the islands and along the walls were myriad pots, pans, dishes, glasses, utensils, measuring cups and other devices wed need each day.
On the other side of the room from the kitchen area was a long table. This served as our desk at the beginning of each class and our dining room table at the end when we would sit down and eat the meals we had prepared.
There were 11 students in my class, and we were divided into three groups to work at the individual cooking stations. My classmates included a social worker, an investment banker, a young couple on vacation from jobs in finance, a personal shopper and wardrobe adviser and a disgruntled lawyer thinking about going into the restaurant business. Besides me, the only non-New Yorker was a woman from Boston who was about to open a restaurant.
We were there for different reasons. Most of the students just wanted to learn how to cook better for themselves. A couple had family members who needed to be on special diets. They figured if they learned the basics, they could create more interesting meals. One young man, Matt, who ended up in my cooking pod, told the class, I dont even know how to boil an egg.
We all laughed, but he was serious. He didnt even know how to crack an egg. As it turned out, none of us knew how to boil an egg. We would all learn the proper way on Day Four Egg Day.
At the head of the class was Ron Ciavolino, our chef/instructor. Chef Ron was one of the first students at Peter Kumps, when the school was still new back in the mid 80s. Cooking was a career change for him. He had been a Latin teacher and principal at a prestigious private school in Manhattan.
He started out at Kumps washing dishes and sitting in on classes. When he finished his courses, he became a private chef, working for well-heeled families on Long Island and in the Hamptons. He tells of how Leona Helmsley offered him a job as her personal chef. He found her too demanding (no kidding!) and her tastes so restricting that he declined the position, telling her that he just didnt think theyd work out together. (She was so impressed with his candor, he says, that she asked him to reconsider. He did not.)
Chef Ron speaks like the private-school principal he once was, but his refinement shares space with a Brooklyn demeanor that comes through every now and then. For example, he told us that the key to success in the kitchen is to use good quality ingredients because if the ingredients arent good the finished dish wont be either.
In his own words: If you buy crap, it will taste like crap.
He has doleful eyes and wrings his hands when he speaks, as though he were pleading for you to hear the reason in his voice. If youre putting on a dinner party, he implores, prepare dessert ahead and get it out of the way.
Make dessert first, he tells us, because you might be too drunk by the end of the meal.
Hes obviously heard about my dinner parties.
ALL THE DISHES IM COOKING tonight are ones we created in class, though not on the same day. There was a reason for each dish, whether to demonstrate knife skills or to teach a specific cooking method.
On Day One we learned to chop vegetables for gazpacho, dice potatoes for sauteing and to French lamb chops. Frenching is a term that basically means cut away and waste whatever it takes to make the food look pretty.
We also learned about blanching vegetables, making compound butters (butters with herbs blended in) and the art of sauteing. (The secret is very high heat. Youve got to get over your fear of heat, pleads Chef Ron.)
Day Two we learned about braising (a dual-cooking method that usually involves sauteing meat and then finishing it in liquid your basic pot roast) and boning and brown sauces, how to deglaze a pan and how to reduce a sauce and enrich it with cream. We also prepared shellfish and made a classic chocolate mousse to demonstrate beating and folding egg whites.
The menu included mussels steamed in white wine (truly the most wonderful mussels Ive ever tasted), the noisettes (which means center cut) of pork that Im preparing tonight, butter braised leeks and tarragon rice (also on this evenings menu). The rice preparation was a new one for me because it was boiled in the French style like pasta. It comes out wonderful, but of course loses all its nutrients in the rolling boil.
I volunteered to make the salad for the class that day, following the instructions for the Belgian endive with shallot vinaigrette. It turned out so well the class actually applauded my vinaigrette that I decided then and there that it too would be on my menu for the chefs.
Day Three we roasted a chicken (after rubbing it with tarragon butter outside and in, and even under the skin) and baked tomatoes. We also learned how to carve said chicken as well as how to truss one with twine. The classroom looked like a bar for chickens into bondage.
Day Four was the infamous Egg Day. We made and ate omelets, poached eggs in red wine sauce, baked eggs Purgatory, a frittata, Grand Marnier souffle and salad Nicoise. (The latter was included because it includes hard-boiled eggs.)
And this is where we learned the proper method for hard-boiling:
Put the eggs in a saucepan just large enough to hold them in one layer; add cold water to cover one inch over the eggs. Heat the water until it is just about to hit a full boil and remove the pan from the heat. Let sit for exactly 13 minutes (large eggs). Dump out the water and add some cold and crack the shells. If its done right there will be no blueness around the bright yellow yolks.
The final day was devoted to grilling and broiling, marinades, mayonnaise and flambeing. The menu featured London broil and grilled vegetables, myriad salads and bananas Foster.
Even though I knew a lot of the techniques and theories beforehand, it was good to get some hands-on and in the case of the chicken, hands-in experience. And I learned plenty of new stuff, too.
But right now, I cant remember a damn thing.
IM COOKING THIS DINNER ON
neutral ground the kitchen of Truffles & Trifles in College Park, which is laid out a lot like the classroom at Peter Kumps except that Truffles kitchen is newer and has state-of-the-art ranges and ovens. Owner Marci Arthur, who knows more about cooking than just about anyone else in Central Florida (but dont you dare call her the Martha Stewart of the South), and one of her volunteer workers are on hand to assist. But all the major preparation is to be done by me.
Ive invited Scott Hunnel, executive chef at Victoria & Alberts at Disneys Grand Floridian Beach Resort and Spa; Bruno Vrignon, executive chef at Chefs de France at Epcot and right-hand man of Paul Bocuse when hes in Central Florida; Cafe Citron owner/chef Patrick Reilly; and Tony Pace, executive chef for Davgar Restaurants Pebbles, Harveys Bistro and Manuels on the 28th. There is no one on the guest list whom Ive skewered with a review in the past, but neither have all of these guys gotten exclusively glowing notices. Ive been honest about their food, and Ive invited them here to be honest about mine. Painfully honest.
The very first thing we were taught was to review the recipe and prepare the mise en place. Mise en place (pronounced MEEZ en plahs) is a French term that means you should have all your ingredients ready chopped, measured and standing by up to the point of cooking. So every day in class we were told we would need, say, three diced onions, two minced shallots, four diced carrots and on and on. We would dutifully chop all these ingredients and place them in appropriate-sized ramekins or bowls in a row in front of us, ready for us to pick up and add as the recipe calls for it. Very orderly, very civilized.
I have gone over the recipes, but none of my meez is in plahs yet. Oh, all the ingredients are in front of me, spread across Truffles and Trifles large countertop. But nothing is chopped, nothing is measured and nothing is getting done. Ive reverted to my old ways, chopping an onion when an onion is called for, then moving on. I can just see Chef Ron wringing his hands and pleading with me to cook in a more reasonable fashion.
The gazpacho, as I said, is finished, although it might need some seasoning adjustments. But I can pretty much just put it in bowls, plop on a dollop of sour cream and serve it.
So now its time to do the preparation for the dessert.
The hardest part is pitting the bing cherries. I need three cups, and this process is tedious. This is something I should have done well in advance because its eating up precious time. Plus my fingers are now stained a deep-red and it looks like Ive slaughtered the hogs for the pork myself.
Once pitted, the cherries are doused with kirsch, a cherry brandy, and left to soak. This is called macerating, which is just like marinating but you cant call it marinating if youre using fruit because the French get upset.
And heres where I make a mistake: I should have done the rest of the mise en place for the dessert at this time, pouring the ingredients into the blender container and setting it aside. If I had done that at this point . . . well, Ill explain later.
Instead I decide to prep the tomatoes, something else that could have (should have) been done hours ago.
The tomatoes have to be seeded and placed upside down on a rack or some paper toweling for 20 minutes. The stuffing requires minced garlic, shallots, basil and thyme lots of chopping.
Chopping is actually my favorite thing to do in the kitchen. I fancy myself as having pretty good knife skills, this despite the fact that once while preparing Christmas dinner for 12 guests I sliced into my thumb as I peeled potatoes with a paring knife, requiring a visit to the emergency room. But that was years ago, and gone are the days when friends walk into my kitchen and scream, Look out, hes got a knife!
With the tomatoes seeded and the stuffing set aside, I start thinking about the main course noisettes of pork with prune cream sauce.
ITS NOW JUST PAST SIX oclock and I pull the pork chops from the refrigerator. Thats another piece of advice from Chef Ron I had forgotten: He prefers to have most ingredients at room temperature.
In America, everything comes out of the refrigerator before cooking, he told us with incredulity. We invented the ice cube, and now we want to use it.
Even the pork can be at room temperature, he told us.
People are scared to death of pork, he said, It isnt going to kill you.
That was on pork day. On chicken day he got more serious.
This will kill you, he said holding up the deadly fowl. He was quite reverent about the bacteria associated with chicken, which are usually killed when the chicken is cooked. Problems occur when the juices from the chicken come into contact with other foods that may be served raw or not cooked enough to kill the germs. He admonished us always to clean our work area and knives after handling the pullet.
Thats why chicken isnt on my menu this evening. All I need is to serve tainted food to these chefs. I can see the headlines now: RESTAURANT CRITIC POISONS CHEFS; CORONER CRIES FOWL.
My user-friendly pork was cut by the butcher into 112-inch thick chops, but a lot of it is going to get cut away. All Im going to serve is the center cut, called the noisette (nwah-ZET). So I trim away the bone and extraneous fat and set it aside. And yes, if you must know, this prep work could have been done earlier in the day. Would you get off my back? Im busy here.
After trimming the pork I tie the noisettes with kitchen twine so that they look like hockey pucks (and hopefully that is where the comparison will end).
Now I need mirepoix (mihr-PWAH), a mixture of diced onions, carrots and celery that is used in sauteing. This is where I get to use the technique I most enjoyed learning at the school, a skill that has eluded me lo these many years in the kitchen: How to properly dice a carrot. It was worth the airfare alone.
A carrot is basically round, so you must first slice off a very small part lengthwise so that you create a flat surface.
Now slice the carrot lengthwise, about a quarter-inch, so that you have several long flat slices.
Now turn these slices over so that they are stacked on top of each other (remove the bottom one so that they lie flat) and again slice lengthwise until you have created several long, square carrot sticks.
These are called baton, but since this is a French technique it is pronounced bah-TAWN. Now gather your baton and slice crosswise in quarter-inch cubes.
And there you have it, or as Chef Ron would put it, Wah-lah, wah-lah, as we say in Brooklyn.
The only disappointing thing about this is that no one at dinner will see how lovely my carrots look. They get sauteed and discarded. I plan to save mine and pass them around the table later.
To get the pork dish started, I put 18 prunes in a saucepan with a cup of Madeira wine and a cup of Vouvray, a white wine, and bring them to a boil, sort of a maceration under fire. That gets set aside, and the noisettes get sauteed in a large pan with canola oil and butter. Just sear them on both sides and set aside.
Then my perfect carrot cubes get thrown in the pan with the other mirepoix ingredients (celery and onions, also nicely diced) plus all the pork chop bones.
By now its 6:30, the guests are due to arrive in half an hour and its time to put the clafouti in the oven. Id better put the ingredients in the blender.
Its clutch time.
I throw the remaining ingredients for the clafouti in the blender, but the blender doesnt work.
So I pour everything from that blender into another, whip it up and pour it over the cherries, which Ive dumped in the bottom of a baking dish. That all goes into the oven with the timer set to 50 minutes.
I run back to the sauteing mirepoix and bones and make sure it isnt burning. I remove the bones from the pan and place the pork noisettes on top of the mirepoix, then pour the wine the prunes boiled in into the pan. The liquid is supposed to come halfway up the side of the pork, but it barely comes up a quarter inch. Nothing else to do but add more Madeira and Vouvray. Lots more.
This is the braising part of the cooking. Its very important that the pork not overcook. Its supposed to be served medium-rare, slightly pink in the middle, which scares a lot of people. (Pork isnt going to kill you, I can hear Chef Ron saying.)
He asked this several times while we were doing this dish. He wasnt being salacious. He says the best way to tell when the pork is cooked properly is by poking it.
My guests are starting to arrive. So much for fashionably late. The rice should go into the boiling water. Check the watch, calculate 13 minutes.
Chef Ron told us that when the pork is just right it will feel the same as when you poke the fleshy part of the palm of your hand.
The endive hasnt been torn or washed yet.
By now, my guests are standing just beyond the kitchen area, eyeing what Im doing. They try not to let me see them looking. I try not to let them see me poking the pork and the palm of my hand.
The pork is just right (or the palm of my hand is overcooked). The pork comes out and gets placed on a plate. I turn the heat up under the wine and start to reduce it. It needs to get to a syrupy consistency, and with all the wine I added its going to take a while.
Better get the gazpacho in the bowls. Better add some salt. And some pepper. I wanted to garnish the soup with a sprig of basil from my own garden. But my herb garden died while I was in New York. (Talk about irony!) So I bought some fresh basil at the store, but when I open it I find it is limp and discolored. Oh, no, Chef Ron, I bought crap!
Better put the tomatoes in the oven. Check the watch, calculate 10 minutes, dont confuse it with the timing of the rice.
I ask Marci to pour the guests some champagne. I figure the drunker they are, the better this thing will go. To annoy me, they sip their champagne lightly.
Its 7:15 and the sauce for the pork has reduced to about the right consistency. So I pour the heavy cream into it and keep boiling. Its got to reduce by half again.
While they eat the gazpacho Ill plate the pork, rice and tomatoes. During the entree Ill prepare the creamy shallot vinaigrette for the salad. And by the time they finish the salad I will have the clafouti on the dessert plates with ice cream. And then it will all be over.
The soup course is on the table. 7:20 p.m.
Gentlemen, dinner is served.
DINNER IS OVER. ITS 9:30 and the kitchen area of Truffles & Trifles looks like, well, not like a hurricane went through it but rather a tropical depression.
The chefs have departed, but they left behind their comments, which they shared during the meal with Orlando Sentinel food writer Linda Shrieves.
The chefs took a bit of delight in the fact that I was running late.
They thought they detected some nervousness on my part (maybe they mistook the palm poking as a nervous tick). But Tony Pace, the Davgar Restaurants chef, told them there was no reason for me to be nervous because his jobs not depending on a good review from them.
Most were kind at first about the gazpacho.
Scott Hunnel of Victoria & Alberts called it light and refreshing for a summer day a good menu selection.
Pace said it needed some sea salt or vegetable salt. That loosened Patrick Reilly of Cafe Citron, who inquired about the base. When I told him it was just the juice from the vegetables, plus a little water, he said he preferred some pureed plum tomatoes for some added juice. The others said they might have added some broth. (To be honest, I like gazpacho with a little more thickness in the base, too, but I was following the recipe from the school!)
The pork was cooked a little past medium-rare, but the sauce got high marks.
Yes, nice job on the sauce, said Hunnel. I was a little worried when I saw the chefs sawing the pork, but they didnt find fault with it.
You cant help that with a thick cut of pork, Pace noted, although he admitted later that he probably would have used pork tenderloins for the dish. A tenderloin would have melted in your mouth.
The stuffed baked tomatoes didnt turn out very well, although the stuffing itself was pretty tasty. But I didnt remove enough of the tomato pulp to make room for the stuffing. And I could have left them in the oven longer.
He could have cooked the tomatoes a little more, said Bruno Vrignon, of Chefs de France, but the sauce is very flavorful.
All the chefs agreed that they probably would have scooped the pulp out of the tomatoes and combined it with Provencale sauce and then baked them. Plus, Pace said, I would have used a vine-ripened tomato. (Again, I bought crap.)
The rice was a simple presentation drizzled with butter and sprinkled with tarragon. Vrignon said I should have stirred the rice while it was cooking because it was too sticky.
After the endive salad was served, Vrignon noted that the creamy shallot vinaigrette was very good.
Yes, Pace said. A lot of times its bitter, but hes got enough salt in there to cut it.
He suggested, however, that it would be good with fresh chopped parsley or chives or even chervil.
The sauces are good, said Pace. Weve got some suggestions about presentation, but the sauces are very good. Hunnel admitted he sopped up the salad dressing with his bread.
When Marci Arthur brought out the dessert, Reillys eyes widened.
Thats so weird. I was thinking of putting this on the menu (at Cafe Citron).
You said that about the gazpacho, someone noted.
Yeah, but you can find gazpacho on lots of menus. You dont see clafouti anywhere, he said
Vrignon liked the clafouti, but I would have put some alcohol in it maybe a kirsch for a stronger flavor. But its good.
When he was told the cherries had macerated in kirsch, he shrugged and said, So he had some. You can taste it when you bite into the cherries.
Reilly, however, loved it. This is awesome, he said.
And everyone ate it.
And no one noticed including me, until everyone had left and I was putting the supplies away that in my haste and panic I had left out two ingredients, including milk, a rather major omission.
But hey, Im the critic here, and Im happy to return to my seat in the dining room.
Though I do have to agree with them on one thing: It was awesome.
1 pound ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly minced mint,
marjoram or basil
1 cup ice water
(For optional garnish: additional minced cucumber, onion and tomato)
Mix together all soup ingredients except water in a bowl. Add the water and stir. Refrigerate until ready to serve. If needed thin the mixture with 1 to 2 cups ice water. Add a selection of the optional garnish items and, if you wish, some crushed ice. Or place garnish in small bowls and pass at table.
Braised Noisettes of Pork with Prunes and Cream Sauce
18 large dried pitted prunes
1 cup each Madeira and dry white wine, preferably Vouvray
6 loin chops, 1 1/2-inch thick, fully trimmed
1/4 each diced carrot, celery and onion (mirepoix)
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons red currant jelly
1 tablespoon minced parsley for garnish
Bone the chops by cutting out the center loin; reserve the bones. Tie kitchen twine around the noisettes so that they become compact discs.
Simmer the prunes in the wine over moderate heat, covered, until plumped and tender, about 10 minutes. Strain the prunes, reserving the wine and set both aside.
Saute the filets in canola oil until they are a rich golden brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer filets to a plate. Add the mirepoix and the bones to the pan and saute to brown slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Additional oil may have to be added to keep the mirepoix from burning. Remove the bones.
Add the wine from the prunes and deglaze the pan, scraping the brown stuff off the bottom. Place the noisettes on top of the mirepoix (the liquid should come halfway up the sides of the pork), cover and simmer gently over very low heat, 5 to 8 minutes, turning once. Meat should be tender when poked with your finger, similar to the feel of the fleshy part of the palm of your hand. Take care not to overcook the pork. Use tongs to transfer pork to a heated platter and remove the strings. Cover filets with foil.
Pour the rest of the contents of the pan through a fine mesh strainer, pressing down to extract all the juices. Return the juices to the pan and reduce by half rapidly, stirring and scraping any brown bits that cling to the pan. Sauce should reach a syrupy consistency. Add the cream and continue to boil down rapidly until the color becomes a light beige and the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Whisk in the jelly and continue to cook, whisking, until the jelly is dissolved. Taste and correct seasoning of the sauce. At this point you may add some butter if you wish the sauce to be richer. Sauce should not be too hot when butter is added or the butter will separate. Add the prunes momentarily just to heat them through. Arrange three prunes on each noisette and spoon sauce over top. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 lbs or 3 cups cherries, pitted
1/4 cup kirsch
Confectioners sugar for garnish
Cherries should be macerated in kirsch for one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place all ingredients except flour, cherries and confectioners sugar in the jar of a blender and blend a few seconds. Add the flour and blend until smooth. This may be done while the fruit is macerating; cover until ready.
Drain the cherries and reserve the liquid. Spread the cherries evenly over the bottom of a buttered 8 or 9 inch pie pan or baking dish. Add 14 cup of the reserved liquid to the batter and blend until smooth. Pour the batter over the cherries and bake until clafouti has puffed and browned, about 50 minutes. A sharp knifeinserted into the middle of the clafouti should come out clean. Sprinkle top of clafouti with confectioners sugar; serve warm.
Clafouti will sink as it cools. May be served with ice cream.