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Recipe of the Week: Fresh Plum Clafoutis

It's definitely fruit season at the farmers markets, which means we'll be seeing an abundance of apples, peaches and plums during the next few weeks. Here's one classic dessert that's a family favorite.

For as long as I can remember, we've enjoyed fresh fruit every season from the two plum trees at my parents' home. Every year that means tasty plums, plum jam ... and plum clafoutis.

For those who haven't tried it, plum clafoutis is a great treat — a balance of tartness and sweetness in a baked custard filling. And my dad's clafoutis is absolutely heavenly, so I knew the bar was set really high the first time I tried to make a clafoutis this year.

It came out fine, though not quite as good as the dessert I get from my parents. There's still time to practice, though.

You'll start to find plenty of fresh fruits, including plums, at the farmers markets around town. Check out the Larkspur farmers market at Marin Country Mart every Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon, and the Corte Madera farmers market at the Town Center every Wednesday, from noon to 5 p.m.

Interested in trying a clafoutis? Here's what you'll need:

Plum Clafoutis

Ingredients:

1 pound firm, ripe plums

Handful of chopped, toasted nuts (optional)

1 1/4 cups milk

2/3 cup sugar (reserving half)

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup flour

icing sugar for dusting

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cut the plums in half and sprinkle with some sugar, then set aside along with the nuts (cashews, almonds, pistachios, whatever you like).

Place the milk, 1/3 cup of the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, salt and flour in a blender. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. Pour a 1/4-inch layer of the batter in a buttered heatproof baking dish or pyrex pie plate about 1 1/2 inches deep. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes. Spread the plums over the batter with the skins facing up.  Sprinkle with the extra 1/3 cup sugar. Pour on the rest of the batter.

Bake in the middle position of the oven for about an hour, until the clafoutis has puffed and browned and a toothpick or knife plunged into its center comes out clean.

Sprinkle the clafoutis with powdered sugar before serving.

This is a virgin recipe. I've seen others that involve soaking the plums in brandy or kirsch. Clafoutis can be made with a variety of fruits, including cherries.

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