This traditional French pudding is delicate and exotic and full of class, but it is entirely simple to whip up! It would work beautifully with any sort of stone fruit, but I opted for fresh plums and cherries to create an vibrant and festive dessert. Clafoutis is essentially the delightful marriage of sponge cake and baked custard. Soft, juicy fruits lay nestled in almond meal, eggs and cream, which bake to form a soft, velvety and surprisingly light pudding that is wonderfully offset by crispy flaked almonds and plenty of icing sugar.
There is nothing technically challenging about this recipe, and it can be in the oven with less than 30 minutes preparation. It also works well with gluten free plain flour, an added bonus! I snuck off to the kitchen to scrape the leftovers from the dish, but my dear Ma had beat me to it and there was nothing left but a few flaked almonds. I’m tempted to just bake another one… Also, there is a strange satisfaction in waltzing into a dining room of hungry guests with a warm and fragrant dish, and saying with flamboyant flare and a hint of a French accent; ‘Here is a Clafoutis I whipped up!’ I promise your sophistication factor will triple. Try it.
Plum and Cherry Clafoutis
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours
- 4 plums, quartered
- 300 g whole cherries (about 25)
- 3 large eggs
- 90 g light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 50 g plain flour (gluten free plain flour works too)
- 25 g almond meal
- 180 mL whole milk
- 120 mL thickened cream
- 75 g flaked almonds
- icing sugar, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F fan-forced. Grease a deep 23 cm/9 inch pie dish or similar with plenty of butter. Arrange the plums and cherries in the base so that the surface is completely covered.
- On high speed, whisk the eggs for 3 minutes until light and foamy. Add the sugar and whisk for another 2 minutes. Pour in the vanilla and salt, and whisk until combined.
- Sift the flour and almond meal into the batter, and whisk on high speed for 1 minute until smooth. Turn the speed to low, and pour in the milk and cream, whisking until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk again for 30 seconds.
- Pour the batter over the fruit, and rap the dish on the counter several times to remove any bubbles.
- Bake on the oven’s central rack for 35-45 minutes, until lightly browned and puffed on the surface. A metal skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. If the surface browns before the inside is cooked, cover with foil and keep baking. Once done, leave the clafoutis to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, toast the flaked almonds on a lined baking tray for 5-10 minutes, until aromatic and lightly golden.
- Leave to cool until just warm, sprinkle with almonds, dust generously with icing sugar and serve!
Store the clafoutis covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Best served on the day of baking.