Soooo… instead, I’m going to bore with a long-winded ode to the awesomeness of clafoutis. :)
Despite the fact that it’s dead simple to make and incredibly delicious, clafoutis doesn’t seem to be all that popular here in Canada, which is an awful shame – especially once you come to realise that it’s one of the best desserts to make with the fabulous locally-grown fruits that are available at this time of year. Besides the usual cherries, a delicious clafoutis can also be made with blueberries… or raspberries… or apricots… or peaches… or… well… you get the picture. Basically, as long as it’s in season and it’s a fruit of some sort, it’s fair game.
(And yes, I know that if we want to get all technical about it, only the cherry-based dessert is truly a “clafoutis”, while its non-cherry brethren should be referred to as “flaugnardes”. However, since I’ve yet to meet a non-francophone who can wrap their tongue around “flaugnarde”, I’m going to completely ignore the proper taxonomy and call it a clafoutis anyways. Also, clafoutis is way more fun to say. So there.)
In this clafoutis, I decided to use yellow plums, because a pile of them caught my eye as I walked by the greengrocer’s stand the other day and I couldn’t resist their gorgeously bright canary yellow colour.
Because yellow plums have a tendency to be quite tart even when fully ripe, I’ve boosted the sweetness of the batter to compensate, and also add a dusting of icing sugar to finish it off. The end result is a fluffy sweet (but not too sweet) batter dotted with astringently tart plums, with neither one dominating over the other. Not bad, considering it took me all of 10 minutes to assemble, and that’s counting the time needed to halve and pit the plums.
If you’re a clafoutis afficionado, you’ll probably notice that I’ve made a few other changes to the usual recipe, because I wanted to capitalize on the fact that plums play along so well with nutty flavours – for one, I added a generous dose of almond extract to accompany the usual vanilla, and also switched out the melted butter for roasted hazelnut oil to add another layer of nutty flavour. Needless to say, please use melted butter if you’re not a weirdo like me who likes to keep a bottle of hazelnut oil in the fridge for just these sorts of occasions. :)
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp hazelnut oil (or melted butter)
- 1 tbsp brandy
- 1 tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp sugar, divided
- ¼ cup flour
- 8-10 small yellow plums
- Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly butter a 9" deep-dish pie plate or an 8x8 baking dish, then dust bottom with 1 tbsp sugar.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, hazelnut oil, brandy, almond extract and vanilla extract. Add flour and remaining ½ cup sugar, and beat until smooth and lump-free.
- Halve and pit the plums, and arrange them onto the prepared baking dish, cut side down. Pour in the batter, doing your best to avoid disturbing the arranged fruit.
- Bake clafouti in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the batter is set around the edges and just slightly wobbly in the middle. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then serve warm with a light dusting of icing sugar.