This summer, I had the pleasure of making a clafoutis for the first time. My taste-testers were Petit Copain's family! I'm pretty sure they loved it, because it didn't last more than 24 hours. Everyone had a bite. I'll take that as a compliment!
This recipe is very flexible. Traditionally, it's made with cherries, but you can also use apricots, nectarines, and other fruits with pits. Though remember to take out the pits before baking.
It's finally "La Rentrée" (the return) in Paris, meaning everyone is back from vacation and is starting work or school. I've seen so many Parisians crowding the metro with their holiday luggage in the metro this past week. Many of these suitcases can roll in either direction (by your side or dragged behind you) and their flexibility makes transport so easy. They even come with stoppers so your luggage won't fall over on the bus! I don't know why these types of suitcases haven't caught on in America yet (we mostly have those awful dragging suitcases), but I've seen them slowly appear.
I'm only excited that my favorite vendors who have been on vacation will be back this Thursday or Sunday. August was a bare month for markets and I missed my fishmonger and my apple/endive supplier. It's also tomato season and I'm going to buy tons and tons of these until they're gone. Perhaps I'll make a sauce for you, dear readers?
Making the Clafoutis
Mirabelle plums are treasured for their rich sweetness. They're on the tinier side, but so packed with flavor. Usually plums are just a bit too juicy for the custardy clafoutis, but this recipe works so well. Petit Copain can't stop eating it. I guess it is my fault he's gotten a little pudgy on the sides! I don't have a pitting device so I simply cut the Mirabelle plums in half. The seeds easily fell out-- the plums were that ripe.
I'm basing my clafoutis recipe off of the wonderful one by Food & Wine. We don't have half and half in France, so I made my own substitute. Using heavy cream turned out to be quite excellent. Even though it's not pictured above, I promise you, there's sugar in this recipe. Tons of it.
Clafoutis is such an odd sounding French word. The cake comes from the region of Limousin, in the mid-part of France. According to Wikipedia, it is the least populated region in the country. Interesting, as this cake is so delightful. Wouldn't the region draw in crowds? Maybe I should go on a visit.
Mirabelle and Lemon Clafoutis
- 2 cups mirabelle plums, pitted and cut in half
- 3 large eggs
- 3 lemons, zested
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 whole or low fat milk (preferably the former)
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp of all purpose flour
- a generous pinch of salt
- optional: powdered sugar for finishing touches
1. Preheat the oven to 350C/175F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, put in the eggs, zest, sugar, extract, cream, milk, and salt. Beat together until mixture is smooth. With a sifter, slowly add the flour into the mixture. Beat again until all ingredients are mixed well.
3. Pour mixture into an oven-safe baking dish (glass, ceramic, or metal is fine). You'll want the mixture to be around 1 1/2 inches deep (the size of the pan I used is 7x10 and 2.5 inches deep). Place the Mirabelle plums on top. Don't worry if they sink; as the custard bakes, the plums will rise up beautifully.
4. Bake for 40 minutes or until custard has set. Jiggle the pan to test it. If the custard isn't too liquidy and has a good, sturdy jiggle, it's ready. Optional: broil the top of the clafoutis for a minute or two to get a browner top.
5. Let the cake cool down. Serve with sprinkled powdered sugar when ready.
Enjoy! That's all I have for today. À bientôt!
P.S. I've recently become a member at Yummly. Come find me there!