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A French Classic: Plum Clafoutis

Menu_083111Thank God for the French. It's not often these days that you hear an American praise French culture. But that's only because Americans don't eat enough French food. While the French did not invent food, or even cooking, they did raise the culinary arts to never-before-seen heights in Western culture. And because of efforts made in French kitchens over hundreds of years, we may today enjoy the simple pleasures of plum clafoutis.

Traditional clafoutis (pronounced klah-foo-TEE) is a rustic, custard-like dessert from the Limousin region of central France, made of black cherries and a flan-like batter. Because this recipe uses plums, the dessert is technically a flaugnarde (pronounced vaguely like flown-YARD). But for simplicity's sake, and because flaugnarde is simply to clumsy for Americans to pronounce or spell, most people refer to desserts like this one as clafoutis.

The beauty of this dessert lies in its simplicity. The mild sweetness of the vanilla custard allows the flavor of the fruit to really shine. So, take care to choose quality fruit. If you cannot find good plums, you might try using any number of fruits, such as tart cherries, blueberries, peaches, or apricots. No matter what fruit you choose, you are sure to enjoy this classic, simple French dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs. fresh, organic plums
  • 4 organic eggs
  • ¾ C. of organic sugar
  • 7 tbls. of flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ C. of organic milk
  • ¾ C. of heavy cream
  • 1 tbls. of vanilla extract

Preparation:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°.
  2. Butter a pie pan.
  3. Rinse and quarter the plums. (Slice into eighths if quarters are too big).
  4. Lay out the plums in the pie pan. The prettier you lay out the fruit, the prettier your dessert will be. The fruit rises to the top of the custard while baking, and keeps the original pattern that you lay out into the pan.
  5. Beat the eggs.
  6. Add all the ingredients, EXCEPT THE PLUMS, and mix thoroughly.
  7. Pour the batter over the plums. If you are trying to keep a pattern in your fruit, pour the batter gently to prevent messing up your design.
  8. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes.
  9. Let cool and serve lukewarm. If you serve the clafoutis too soon, it will be a little runny. Give it time to set. Serves 10.

Take the time to enjoy your dessert. Maybe indulge in a good cup of coffee. French roast, perhaps? Bon appétit!

Find out more about related services in the Washington area:

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