Dish of the Week: Plum Clafoutis

plum_clafoutis.jpg
Photo by Isabelle Hurbain-Palatin
Traditionally, this French dessert is made using black cherries.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.

This week, we're sharing more about the French dessert clafoutis.

Clafoutis is a flan-like pastry made with fruit (traditionally black cherries) covered in a thick custard batter. Once baked, the result is a surprisingly light pancake-custard hybrid with equal pops of tartness and sweetness throughout.

It's name is based on the Occitan verb clafir, meaning to fill or to cover, and the dish is said to have originated in the Southern Limousin region of France.

This recipe, adapted from Julia Child, uses plums in lieu of cherries, making it a flaugnarde rather than a true clafoutis (which is the name only when cherries are used). Whatever it's called, it's delicious.

Julia Child's Plum Clafoutis

1 pound firm, ripe plums
1 1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup sugar, divided in half
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour
Butter, for baking dish
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Optional: add 1 tsp of orange or lemon zest for brightness

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set rack in center of oven.

Cut plums in half and sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together milk, eggs, and vanilla. Add in flour and salt and blend at top speed until smooth.

Butter a 1½-inch deep baking dish or Pyrex pie plate. Pour in 1/4 inch layer of batter. Place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until a film of batter has set in the bottom of the dish.

Spread plums over the batter, skins facing up. Sprinkle with extra 1/3 cup of sugar and pour over the rest of the batter.

Bake for about 1 hour, until the clafoutis has puffed and browned. Doneness test: An inserted toothpick should come out clean.

Let cool slightly and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

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