I’m finally coming to the realization that I am not a planner and that’s ok, I think. Try as I might, I can’t seem to see past the present. I am more of a live in the now, wing and a prayer type of gal. Which is equal parts exciting and terrifying. I find that when I actually do try and take control by planning out every detail, it generally results in let down because it didn’t turn out how I had imagined. On the flipside, if I head for the hills without a plan and end up having a great time, it feels extra special.
So last weekend when we wandered up to wine country to meet pals who were passing through for brunch, we let the afternoon take us where the wind blew. Which, not surprisingly, was to straight to a chilled glass of rosé on the sunny patio of Alma Rosa Winery in Buellton, CA. After a slow sip, some sunshine and 3 bottles to go, we headed for the hills, Folded Hills Farmstead in Gaviota, CA.Skip ahead to the recipe >>
From the moment we pulled up to the idyllic corrugated metal stand nestled on a dirt road between vineyards and the picturesque folding hills that surround the property, I knew that my lack of planning paid off.
I made a beeline for the animals, possibly elbowing a child or two, to squeeze my way up to the fence where the friendliest goats, sweetest cow and happiest piglets on the planet greet visitors with actual smiles on their ridiculously adorable faces. After spending the better part of an hour admiring the animals and calculating the costs of buying my own small farm, we grabbed a bucket and headed to the U-Pick berries.
One of life’s greatest pleasures is tasting those jammy, melt in your mouth, vine fresh raspberries still warm with sunshine. We loaded our little basket with 3 pints worth of those sweet berries and snagged a dozen of the prettiest pastel farm eggs to take home. From all of this goodness, I was able to create this berrylicious recipe for Raspberry Buttermilk Clafoutis. If you’ve never heard of clafoutis, it’s a simple to prepare french dessert that bakes up with an almost flan-like texture. This Raspberry Buttermilk Clafoutis is both rustic and elegant and easy to whip together quickly. Fresh picked raspberries give the Raspberry Buttermilk Clafoutis a homey tartness that shines against the custardy texture.
The woman working at the Folded Hills Farmstead was as welcoming as the stand was cute and shared all kinds of fun facts about the farm with us. I could have stayed all day, chatting about farm life, scrunching the sweet animals behind the ears and soaking up the sun. But, I was already growing hungry again so we backtracked to my favorite restaurant in the California Central Coast, Industrial Eats.
Built in a warehouse district in Buellton, CA, Industrial Eats is smack dab in the middle of a cluster of industrial buildings. You’d never expect to stumble upon some of the best wood fired pizzas, house cured meats and a dizzying menu of beers, wines and ciders here, but it’s one of top stops for eats between SF and LA. It’s a casual, deli style, order at the counter affair and the ultimate respite to refuel after a day of wine tasting or goat petting. The dishes are fairly simple but the ingredients are top notch. Everything I’ve had here has blown my mind but if I had to choose a few favorites, they’d be…
- Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil Pizza – you can’t beat a classic.
- Prosciutto, Taleggio, Parmesan, Arugula Pizza – the only way you can beat a classic, add prosciutto!
- Snap Peas, Hummus, Yogurt, Pita – simple but delightfully fresh.
- Beef & Ricotta Meatballs, Marinara – I don’t do meatballs but these changed my whole world.
- Smoked Turkey Sandwich – sounds so boring but that smoky house cured turkey is undeniable.
- Tin City Cider – based out of Paso Robles but you can get a tall, crispy can of this super dry and tart cider of my dreams here at IE. Pairs so well with any of the above, especially after drinking wine all day.
And there it is, a roadmap to the perfect day. If you’re a planner, I suggest sticking with this program. If you’re not a planner, maybe just keep these spots in your back pocket for the next time you feel like heading for the hills. Plans or no plans though, you should definitely make time to bake up this Raspberry Buttermilk Clafoutis. I like to make my Raspberry Buttermilk Clafoutis extra special by serving it with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, a spritz of lemon juice and a smooth dollop of crème fraîche.
A simple to make, creamy flan-like custard dessert, dotted with fresh, tart raspberries, zesty lemon and served with a smooth dollop of crème fraîche.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 lemons zested
- 1 pint raspberries
- 3 tbsp butter melted & cooled
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teas salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 teas vanilla
- 4 whole eggs at room temperature
- 1-2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 6-8 tbsp crème fraîche
Preheat oven to 400°.
Grease a 9" baking pan with butter or cooking spray and fill the greased baking pan with raspberries.
Finely zest the peel of lemons in a small bowl, mix the zest with the sugar until the zest is fully covered in sugar and the sugar is a pretty yellow hue. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, salt and 2/3 of the lemon zest sugar.
Stir in the buttermilk followed by the melted and butter, and the vanilla. Mix until fully incorporated.
Stir in the eggs, one at a time and mix until combined.
Transfer the mixture to a blender and mix on high for 3-5 minutes until frothy and light. This will give the clafoutis a light and airy texture.
Pour the blended batter directly over raspberries in the skillet.
Place the skillet on a baking sheet and bake on 400° for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350° and bake for another 25-30 minutes until slightly puffy with golden edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Place on a cooling rack and sprinkle the remaining orange peel sugar over the top.
Once the clafoutis has cooled down, sprinkle with powdered sugar, slice into 6-8 wedges and serve with a lemon wedge and a dollop of crème fraîche.