Think of it as eating a watermelon that has seeds in it. I know, seeing how far you can spit a watermelon seed is something kids like to do, but don't try that when eating a wedge of clafoutis in the house. Just delicately purse you lips and slide the pit into your spoon. Then place it on the edge of your plate. Clafoutis [klah-foo-TEE) is a pretty informal kind of dessert, especially if made with cherries or plums that still have their pits in them. Some say the pits give good flavor to the clafoutis.
The classic clafoutis is made with cherries. They can be tart sour cherries or sweet black cherries. You can make a clafoutis with other fruits too — blueberries, apples, bananas, peaches, apricots, or plums. I made this one yesterday with little red plums that are just slightly larger than plump cherries. They are the fruits of a tree I grew in a pot from plum pits more than a decade ago and later planted in the ground in the far corner of our back yard. Larger fruits would need to be cut up to go into a clafoutis.
I'm not sure I'd ever made a clafoutis with these particular plums before. Often the birds get them before I get out there to pick some, but for some reason not this year. These are not what is called a "freestone" fruit. It's not easy to pit them, especially when they are very ripe. You end up with a handful of mush, and you can't really scrape the pulp off the pit. The pits I planted all those years ago were from freestone plums, but that's not what the resulting tree produces. Their flavor is very good, however. Last year I made plum jelly because that was an easy way to get rid of the pits too.
It turns out that baking these plums is perfect, and the way to bake them is in a clafoutis. Arrange them in a buttered baking dish, pour on a sort of custard made with eggs, milk, flour, and sugar, and bake the clafoutis in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes. When you eat the clafoutis, the fact that it's basically a soft custard makes it easy to find the plum or cherry pits with your tongue and politely dispose of them. No problem. Delicious. Like eating a seedy watermelon in summertime.
The clafoutis I made yesterday is one I found somewhere as a recipe for a clafoutis aux quetsches. Here's one, in French. There are many more, with photos, here. What are quetsches [kwetch]? They are large, blue or purple damson plums. Large enough that they need to be cut in half and pitted to go into a clafoutis. Not really like my little red plums except in taste. Notice in the photo above how the clafoutis puffs up when you bake it, even though it is not leavened. It will "fall" as it cools, like some kind of soufflé.
Yesterdays plum clafoutis rose up so much that it started to overflow the baking dish. Tant pis. As I said, this is an informal, rustic kind of dessert. The recipe I used calls for 125 grams of flour, 125 grams of sugar, three eggs, and 500 ml of milk to make the custard. There's no crust involved; the floury custard will form its own kind of crust around the edge of the baking dish. I just noticed that I made a clafoutis with little yellow mirabelle plums six years ago and posted the recipe here. I like to eat clafoutis and most desserts with a spoon, but you can eat it with a fork if you want to.
Informal, perhaps, but it certainly looks delicious. How fun that you grew that tree from the pit of a plum and now it's giving you fruit.ReplyDelete
I guess I should have said the clafoutis is a family-style dessert. If you're having Queen Elizabeth over for dinner, you probably should serve something else, LOL. But friends and family can really enjoy it together.Delete
As I said before, when I lived in California, I used to make clafoutis, one of my favorite dessert. Frank enjoyed it also. That's when I tried it with different fruits, many not ripe enough, with mixed results.ReplyDelete
See my comment about the whole wheat loaf on yesterday's post. The plum clafoutis with those red plums from our tree is excellent. I put a splash of kirsch in the custard.Delete
Pitting cherries is a pain, even with a cherry stoner, none of which seem to work brilliantly I have found.ReplyDelete
If you have freestone fruit, pitting is possible. With plums like the ones we get from our tree, well... forget it.Delete
do you put your pie dish on a pan so when it overflows it doesnt get all over your oven? If so does that change the baking time at all?ReplyDelete
French ovens come with a tray called a lèche-frite (funny name) that catches drips and spills from dishes that are baking. It's easy to wash immediately after the cooking is done. I don't think a pan would change the cooking time, which is not very precise anyway. I did check the doneness of the clafoutis custard by sticking a wooden skewer in it. It came out clean. So it was cooked.Delete
Well this looks tasty. Would probably be good chilled in the fridge too. Who knows Queen Elizabeth might prefer this to another croquembouche?ReplyDelete