8.19.2009

Plum perfect

Yesterday I found myself (after many failed efforts and near-misses) in the same place as a farmer's market at the right time. I had trekked over to campus to use the computer lab (to scan negatives - very exciting), only to find said lab to be closed for the rest of the summer. However! The Harvard Farmer's Market was just setting up and it seemed that everyone had harvested everything all at once this week. Tomatoes and dahlias and beans and lettuce and greens and squash and berries and peaches, oh my! I'm a lover of farmer's markets and let me tell you, this one was spectacular.
My haul: three adorable patty pan squash, a handful of heirloom tomatoes, some cherry tomatoes, a quart of plums, a pint of lovely, juicy intensely-flavored blueberries, and two heads of fresh lettuce (approximately the size of MY head). Luckily we were having my sister and her betrothed over for dinner or I'm afraid much of this would have gone to waste. Dinner ended up being 1) a big, big salad with lettuce, tomatoes, pepper, Spanish tuna (canned in olive oil!), and a little balsamic; 2) Pasta with a fresh batch of my own homemade pesto (now with garlic!); and 3) Two delicious clafoutis(es?) that I whipped up with the help of the decadent produce I brought home with me. I made blueberry (delicious) and plum (transcendent).
You all may remember that I had a dubious encounter with clafoutis before. I say dubious not because the result wasn't delicious or the recipe didn't work (in fact, Sweet Amandine's recipes never seem to fail), but because I was so uncertain of the whole process, not having eaten, seen, or heard of a clafoutis until very shortly before I made that one. My previous effort at this delicious dessert was tasty, but I like my desserts to have either a little more tooth or a little less substance. Alas, that clafoutis landed right in the textural middle ground that makes me so uneasy. I searched around and found another recipe that seemed promising and gave it a whirl. The results were spectacular.

Fresh fruit clafoutis (adapted from epicurious.com)
  • fruit of your choosing (I used about 15 plums, halved and pitted for the plum one and about half a pint of blueberries for the blueberry one)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (for each batch of fruit)
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup almonds, toasted (I toasted mine in a pan on the stove as if they were pine nuts)
  • 4 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I used amaretto)
  • Powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Generously butter two deep dish pie plates.
  3. Combine the fruit, 1 tablespoon sugar and cornstarch in medium bowl; toss to coat.
  4. Arrange the fruit in pie plates.
  5. Blend the flour and almonds in food processor until the nuts are finely chopped (ideally until they almost disappear).
  6. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, salt and remaining 1/2 cup sugar together.
  7. Whisk in the flour and nut mixture.
  8. Add milk, melted butter, vanilla extract, and amaretto; whisk until smooth.
  9. Pour custard over fruit.
  10. Bake clafoutis until set in center and golden on top, about 55 minutes.
  11. Cool slightly. Sprinkle powdered sugar over and serve warm.
**Notes: The ground nuts in this recipe give it a really nice occasional crunch. Also, the (scant) leftovers made a delicious breakfast this morning.

**Warning: The original recipe purports to serve SIX people. There were four of us and we almost polished it off. Bear this in mind if you're inviting big eaters. Better yet: keep it ALL to yourself. You'll thank me.

3 comments:

Liz said...

I think the clafouti was just *made* for plums, but the blueberries look so tasty in your pictures. I'll have to try one with blueberries sometime. It might help me overcome my "blueberries are for pie" bias.

EEJ said...

"Blueberries are for pie" ??? That's crazy talk. They're for EVERYTHING.

Julia @ Mélanger said...

Thanks for visiting my blog - now I have found you! I LOVE clafouti. I have never made one myself but happy to polish off any that is around. I will have to definitely try my own soon!