Aah, so my friends who read this blog probably know about my baking complex. I had written an earlier post expressing my confidence levels when it came to baking and how I wanted to change that. So, I pulled myself together and dove in. Dove into a sunny world of warm milk, flour, sugar, butter, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. I have to admit- the smell of vanilla and sugar warming up your kitchen is pretty darn good. And when I finally pulled my creation out of the oven, it came out ok!! (Alright, it’s actually a convection microwave, but I didn’t want to kill the mood.) I felt such glee. Like a little kid who got his favourite toy in a box of Crackerjack.
I first read about clafoutis on Hillary Davis’ blog, Marche Dimanche, where she shares a lot of great French recipes and anecdotes about French food. I know what I’m about to say next is a mouse-click away from a hundred other baking and cooking blogs, but I’m still going to put it in here. Clafoutis is a French country dessert that is traditionally made with cherries- it was made to celebrate the first cherries of the season. Today clafoutis has evolved into a sweet baked dish that can be made with all kinds of fresh fruit and is eaten as breakfast, brunch as well as dessert. I could eat it anytime!
What drew me to the dish was it’s simplicity- whisk together flour, sugar, eggs, milk, cream, butter and vanilla and add some fruit. Most of the recipes I came across online used berries like cherries, blueberries and raspberries but I used plums because that was what I had on hand.
As Hillary describes in her blogpost, the consistency of clafoutis is more cake-like than custardy, but if served warm, it can feel like a custard. Mine came out more cake-like, but was good all the same. I love the flavour of cinnamon with sharp fruit, so I decided to poach the plum slices with some cinnamon. The recipe already had vanilla, and I figured, why not canelle when there’s vanille? Whatever pleases your palate!
CINNAMON-PLUM CLAFOUTIS (Adapted from Marche Dimanche)
- 3 large plums, pitted and sliced into quarter-moons
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter (I used regular butter, that is why there are 3 tablespoons of sugar…if you are using unsalted butter, then you can cut down on the sugar and add a pinch of salt.)
- 1/4 cup cream
- 150 ml water
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- In a saucepan, heat the water and bring it to a gentle simmer. Add a stick of cinnamon, swirl it around to release the flavour. Add the sliced plums and let them soften a bit. Turn off heat, drain the water from the plum slices and keep aside.
- Heat oven to 200 C.
- Butter a 6 inch baking dish and sprinkle some granulated sugar on the bottom.
- Place the cinnamon-infused plum slices on the bottom of the dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Then beat in the milk, cream, flour, butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 3-4 minutes.
- Pour this batter over the plum slices in the baking dish and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, till it gets puffy and golden brown around the edges.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm! ( I used regular granulated sugar.)
My clafoutis came out more cakey, and could have done with a more golden top, but for a first attempt, it was not bad. No eggy aftertaste! The plums were tart, giving an apple-like floral flavour; which was offset nicely by the cinnamon and vanilla.
I think I’m going to bake more from now!