A sizeable portion of my love for Thanksgiving attaches to the advance planning sessions, the same way that I bask in a vacation more when I’ve spent weeks before studying the beach spots, the good restaurants, and what to wear.
In our imagined version of the holiday, we have unlimited dessert stomachs. Our minds consider a 2 1/2-to-1 proportion of eater to dessert completely normal. In reality, we end up with a lot of sweet leftovers. But we can’t give up our classics, chocolate marquise with mocha cream and apple pie, nor can we reduce the number of favorites that swing through the rotation, pecan pie and pound cake and pumpkin bread pudding.
I’m going to have a hard time keeping this new clafoutis off the buffet table this year. First off, it does the mighty job of bringing chocolate to the Thanksgiving spread. Chocolate is too often missing. Second, it’s really easy. Third, it’s dairy-free, so if anyone has trouble with all the milk, cream, and butter in the feast, this belongs in your dessert course.
I got the idea to use coconut milk in clafoutis when I saw a post on Autumn Makes and Does that mentioned my chocolate chip clafoutis as an inspiration. She said she actually preferred coconut milk to cream in clafoutis. I wanted to add pumpkin in a nod to the season, and I had to keep the chocolate in, because although clafoutis is originally a French dessert whose pancake-like custardy batter surrounds fruit like cherries, I never say no to a fruit-less dessert. Combined, the pumpkin puree and coconut milk are rich but not too rich. If you’re wondering, you don’t taste any coconut flavor here.
The clafoutis resembles the inside of a pumpkin pie, but it’s less jiggly (in a good way). There’s enough flour in the batter that you don’t have to worry about the egg in the custard coagulating. And you don’t have to make a crust.