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This easy batter pudding, fragrant with late-summer fruit, is delicious warm from the oven, and any leftovers are just as good served cold for a breakfast treat with a dollop of thick yoghurt.
The original clafoutis is from Limousin in central France and features unpitted cherries, the stones of which add a subtle almond flavour to the pudding.
This recipe uses seeded plums instead, but adds toasted almond flakes on top as a tribute to tradition.
What you need
1 tablespoon butter
6 tablespoons caster sugar
16 plums, washed, dried, halved and pitted
1 cup milk
1/3 cup of cream*
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2/3 cup plain flour
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons almond flakes, toasted
icing sugar, to dust
*you can replace the cream with more milk for a lighter version
What to do
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Use the butter to grease a 23cm round baking dish and sprinkle one tablespoon of the sugar over the butter. Arrange the plums over the sugar. Don’t worry if you end up with a double layer.
2. In a food processor mix the flour with the remaining sugar, the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Tip into a bowl.
3. Add the milk, cream if using, vanilla and eggs to the food processor and whiz until smooth and pale. Scatter the flour mixture over the eggs and process until smooth.
4. Gently pour the batter over the plums, then bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden and the centre doesn’t wobble.
5. Let sit for 15 minutes, then dust with icing sugar, scatter over the toasted almonds and serve with cream.
3 more ways with plums
Sprinkle plum halves generously with caster sugar and grate over the zest of half a lemon. In a food processor put a quarter cup each of rolled oats, plain flour and brown sugar with a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Whiz to combine, then add 125g of cold butter, cut into cubes and process into a texture like that of coarse bread crumbs. Put the plums into a baking dish, top with crumble and bake until brown and crisp on top, about half an hour in a moderate oven.
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Peppery plum salad
On a bed of washed and dried rocket mixed with the washed and dried leaves from the pale heart of a bunch of celery, add sliced plums, hunks of soft goats cheese and a handful of roasted walnuts. Dress with balsamic vinegar whisked into extra virgin olive oil, then grind fresh black pepper over.
This is a very quick and simple version of a chutney, but good with ham or cheddar cheese and chewy bread. Put half a kilo of plums, 200g of caster sugar, 125ml of cider vinegar, a cinnamon stick and two star anise in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until soft and syrupy. Cool before serving.