How to make plum clafoutis – recipe | Food

Jits French dessert comes in many forms, from crisp Yorkshire pudding-like creations to cream flans sold cold by the slice, but all are topped with a layer of seasonal fruit (although, strictly speaking, everything that is not a cherry is a flagnarde). This deliciously rich version with plums and almonds, inspired by the recipe of three-star chef Guy Savoy, also happens to be gluten-free.

Preparation 20 mins
To cook 45 minutes
Serves 6

300g of plums (about 10-12)
Buttergrease
2 tablespoons demerara sugar (optional)
50g cornstarch
100g ground almonds
A pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon mixed spices
or nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)
3 eggs
100g caster sugar
300 g whole cream
(see step 6)
100ml whole milk

1 Choose fruit

You can use cherries for this instead of plums (indeed Monsieur Savoy does) although you may need more to fill out the dish. I don’t bother pitting the cherries for this, both because it slows down the ensuing binge eating and because the pits would add flavor to the finished pudding, but be sure to let guests know if you pit not.

2 Other variants

Indeed, almost any fruit that is in season, or that you have in the freezer, will do great in a clafoutis, although I find that very juicy, acidic berries, such as blackberries and raspberries, can sink into the batter and affect the consistency of the cake (the results are still extremely tasty).

Cut the plums in half.  Felicity Cloake's Clafoutis 02a

Cut large fruits into halves or quarters and toss the juiciest ones in a little cornmeal to minimize leakage.

3 Prepare the plums and the baking dish

Heat the oven to 180 C (160 C fan)/350 F/Gas 4. Wash the plums, remove the stems, then cut them in half and remove the pits. Arrange the halves cut-side up in a round baking dish about 24cm in diameter (or similar) – this is to see if you need all the fruit – then remove and put out a kitchen towel to dry. Generously grease the dish with butter, then sprinkle with demerara sugar, if using.

Grease a pan or baking sheet with butter and sprinkle with sugar.

4 Mix the dry ingredients

Put the corn flour, almonds, salt and spices, if using, in a bowl and whisk briefly to break up any lumps. (Other flavoring ideas include a quarter teaspoon of ground cardamom or ginger, a pinch of vanilla or almond extract, or the grated zest of an unwaxed orange, all of which should be added batter with milk.)

Felicity Cloake's Clafoutis 04b.  Put the corn flour, almonds, salt and spices, if using, in a bowl and whisk briefly to break up any lumps

5 Add to beaten eggs

Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat, then add the caster sugar and continue beating vigorously until the two are well combined and the mixture begins to pale slightly.

Beat eggs.  Clafoutis by Felicity Cloake 05b

Stir in ground almond mixture until no pockets of dry ingredient remain.

6 Finish the dough

Stir in the creme fraiche – you can substitute whipped or double cream, if you prefer, but a good creme fraiche will give your clafoutis a delicious, slightly tart flavor that works great with the plums. Look for one with a fat content of around 40%; the thick yellow Norman tri is ideal, rather than the watery versions favored by some UK supermarkets.

Incorporate the fresh cream.  Finish the dough.  Clafoutis by Felicity Cloake 05c

Finally, add the milk.

7 Assemble the clafoutis

Pour the batter into the greased baking dish, then carefully place the plums cut side up.

Put the dough in the tray.  Put the fruit halves in the dough.

This might sound more faff than just putting the fruit in the dish before pouring it over the batter, but it means the fruit won’t be completely submerged. (If it drips, your clafoutis will still be delicious, but it won’t look as good.)

8 Bake until set

Bake the clafoutis for about 45 minutes, until the pastry is lightly golden in the middle and darker on the sides, and the plums are nicely caramelized – needle carefully (remember, this will very hot) should reveal that it is just firm in the center, rather than wobbly and runny.

Felicity Cloake's Clafoutis 07b.  Bake the clafoutis for about 45 minutes, until the pastry is lightly golden in the center and darker on the sides.

9 Leave to cool then serve

Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature or lukewarm before serving, as hot out of the oven it will have very little flavor. To be honest, this particular clafoutis is quite rich on its own, but, for the sake of contrast, it’s also extremely enjoyable served with more creme fraiche fresh from the fridge, ice cream or liquid cream.

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