I served this Heavenly Plum Clafoutis at the Food For Thought dinner I hosted in the UK on the 5th October. It is a very easy dish to make and wonderful to share with friends or someone who is caring for a loved one with FTD dementia. It is such a simple thing to make and share with a caregiver. It is so much more than food, it is a connection to the ‘real’ world, the one where every waking moment is not about anticipating what new horror awaits as the course of FTD dementia progresses. Food is love and sharing food creates a bond that can strengthen and sustain us through hardship.
Adrienne made this Clafoutis particularly at this time of year when the Italian Prune Plums are in season. Sometimes called Empress Plums or Quetsche, they are the European-style plum (Prunica domestica) – small, dense, egg-shaped fruit with blue or purple skin, freestone pits (they separate easily from the flesh) and yellow flesh. These are the plums that are made into prunes. You can use other seasonal fruits in this recipe, but it is particularly suited to tart Italian plums because they contrast so perfectly with the pastry, which is quite sweet. Adrienne was not fond of overly sweet desserts; she was always looking for that sweet/sour balance and in this recipe she found it. If you find that the plums are too sweet squeeze a bit of lemon juice on them when you are slicing them into quarters.
Heavenly Plum Clafoutis
When you slice the plums in quarters don't slice all the way through the skin - it will make it easier to lay them out in the pan.
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- About 1 pound Italian plums, washed, quartered, and pitted
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- Step 1 In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until it is white and light. Add the sugar and continue to beat until it is thoroughly incorporated and the mixture is light.
- Step 2 Measure the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl and stir to combine. Beating the creamed butter mixture on medium speed, add the flour mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, fully incorporating the flour between additions. After all the flour is combined, the mixture should just hold together, as a short pastry might feel. Measure out 1/3 cup and set aside.
- Step 3 Transfer the remaining pastry mixture to an ungreased 8-inch spring form pan. Using your fingertips, evenly pat the pastry on the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan in a very rustic crust. Do not overwork the pastry. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Step 4
- Step 5 Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Step 6 Arrange the plums on the pastry in a single layer cut side down in tight concentric circles, beginning around the outer edge and ending in the center. Do not overlap. Sprinkle the remaining pastry mixture over the plums. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Step 7 Meanwhile, beat the eggs lightly and stir in the cream. Mix well. Pour the egg/cream mixture over the plums. Return to the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes longer, until the top is browned. Test with a knife or toothpick – if it comes out clean it is done. Allow to cool completely. It can sit for 4 to 5 hours. Do not refrigerate immediately.
Share this with your friends