Over the past few weeks the farmer's markets have been bursting with tiny black plums. Sweet, succulent and even a little tangy, the plums are ripe for eating, stewing, poaching and in this case, baking...in a clafoutis.
It was only until I attempted to make this baked dessert, that I discovered that it is actually French, specifically from the Limousin region. I have always thought it was Greek. The word 'clafoutis' just sounds so Greek to me but then again 'tiramisu' sounds Japanese!
My clafoutis differs from the Limoges' version which traditionally uses un-pitted black cherries. It is thought that the kernel (pip) imparts an almond-like flavour into the batter when baked. Instead, I used the small black plums, with the stone left in.
While the plums I used were sweet to the point of being over-ripe, the cooking process seemed to reawaken their tart bite.
A clafoutis is somewhere between a cake, a custard, a sweet omelette and a souffle. But really, I shouldn't grope for a category: it is what it is. It's a clafoutis. And it's delicious.
Plum Clafoutis Recipe
500 grams of small plums, halved
3/4 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted
A pinch of salt
3 room temperature free-range eggs
1/2 cup & 1 Tbsp of castor sugar
300ml of milk
1 Tbsp of Grand Marnier
Icing sugar for dusting
Buttered ramekins or round or square baking tin
Vanilla ice-cream or freshly whipped cream to serve (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C).
- Wash and halve the plums. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of castor sugar on them. Let them sit for 30 minutes.
- Butter the ramekins or baking tin. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs well. Set aside.
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Stir in the well-beaten eggs until mixture is smooth.
- Add 1/2 cup of castor sugar and Grand Mariner and stir to combine. Now add the milk, stirring continuously until batter is smooth.
- If you are using small ramekins, then spoon a generous amount of plums into the bottom of each dish. Pour in the batter about halfway up the ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and then bake for 10 minutes or until risen. Remove and serve immediately.
- If you are baking in a large baking tin then spread all the plums along the bottom of the tin and pour all the batter into it. Bake for 30 minutes and then serve immediately.