Mangosteen is a beautiful Thai fruit and because it contains so many antioxidants, mangosteen also offers numerous health benefits. If you can’t find it, lychees make a perfect substitution and are available canned as well as fresh. Clafouti is an old-style dessert originally from France, a cloud-like type of custard made with fresh fruit.
- 5 fresh mangosteen fruit, or substitute 1 cup fresh or canned lychee fruit
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)
- ⅓ cup rice flour , or regular flour
- 4 large eggs
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 teaspoon icing sugar (powdered sugar), for garnish
- Preheat oven to 175°C. Using a little oil or butter, generously grease a 1½ litre casserole dish, or 4-6 individual-size ramekins (6 small or 4 larger ramekins).
To Prepare the Mangosteens
- Using a sharp knife, cut off the stem section at the top of the mangosteen. If your fruit is very ripe, you will be able to easily peel off the thick purple skin using your thumb. If the skin is firm, make another cut with your knife down one side of the fruit, then open it up.
- Inside the thick skin you will find small, white segments of fruit. Remove these segments (but leave any stones inside).
- Toss fruit with 1 teaspoon cornflour and 1 tablespoon sugar to coat. Arrange these segments in the bottom of the casserole dish, or divide them out evenly among the ramekins. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs with the salt and sugar to blend. Then whisk in the flour, stirring until smooth.
- Add the coconut milk, lemon peel, plus vanilla and coconut extract. Whisk to blend.
- Pour this mixture into the casserole dish (over the mangosteen segments). If using ramekins, ladle the mixture into the ramekins, dividing it out evenly among the dishes. Note that the fruit may float in the egg mixture - this is desirable.
- Place the casserole dish in the oven. If using ramekins, place the filled ramekins in a lasagna-type baking dish. Pour some water into the dish - enough to reach ¼ to ⅓ the way up the side of the ramekins.
- Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until the dessert is set in the middle and lightly browned on top.
- Serve warm with a little icing sugar sifted over, or with your choice of ice cream or whipped cream. If you left any stones in the mangosteen segments, be sure to warn your guests of this (and congratulate yourself for introducing others to this incredible Thai fruit!).