Once again the branches of the plum-tree a few doors down from us are hanging heavy with ripe fruit. Birds swoop and bite into these sunripened beauties all during the day leaving half-eaten fruit lying on the ground underneath the tree. As I pick some of these red & purple from the limbs the birds never stop their feast. Back home, I am happy with my bounty. I will make a “Plum Clafoutis” with a “twist”.
I learned to make clafoutis a number of years ago from some Danish neighbors who were both great cooks. My first was made with dark red cherries, which is the classic version. I love saying “clafoutis”…it is one of those great little words with much rhythm and mystique. Say it softly a few times and you will understand.
Here is my Southerner’s adaptation of this easy French classic.
“CLAFOUTIS WITH RIPE PLUMS AND CORNMEAL”
12 firm, but ripe, rinsed & pitted plums, cut into quarters
2 tbsp softened butter
3/4 cup raw sugar, divided
5 large eggs
dash of salt
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp yellow cornmeal
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
maple syrup (optional indulgence)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Butter a cast iron skillet (or other oven safe dish). Cut pitted plums into pieces.
4. Toss plums into bottom of skillet & sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the raw sugar.
5. Using a blender mix together the 1/2 cup raw sugar, eggs, salt, yogurt, milk, vanilla, cornmeal & flour. Blend until well mixed with no lumps. Pour batter over plums.
6. Bake for about 35 minutes or until center is “set” but still a bit “jiggly”. Remove from oven to cool for at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Clafoutis are great warm or cold. For breakfast or brunch with a drizzle of maple syrup it is a sublime treat.
The addition of the cornmeal creates a surprise crust on the bottom. Blended with the other ingredients, the cornmeal being heavier, it sinks to the bottom of the skillet during the baking process. A smooth, sweet eggy custard with ripe plums and a tiny crunch on the bottom of each bite.
Clafoutis (French pronunciation: [klafuti]; Occitan: clafotís [klafuˈtis]), sometimes in Anglophone countries spelled clafouti, is a baked French dessert of black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm.
Bon Appetit with your local fruits & vegetables all summer long.