STONE FRUIT SEASON
Stone fruits; nectarines, peaches, apricots, plums, and cherries, remind me of a French breakfast I had one Sunday in Antibes, France. Plums at the farmers market were so royally purple and blushed with pink they tempted my imagination. I wanted to buy a bakers dozen for a clafouti.
Plums are more than delicious, packed full of anti-oxidants, sorbitol, fiber, Vitamins A and C. The Yellow Mirabelle plums have the added prize of beta-carotene. Easy to grow, they’re found fairly frequently within the geography of the U.S.
Almost like a Dutch Baby pancake with fruit, a clafouti is a fragrant way to showcase any of the stone fruits during their season. Made with canned goods it loses its luster. There’s nothing like smelling these fresh jewels, related to the rose family, baking in the morning, resulting in a puffed golden top with plums below.
Clafouti with Fresh Plums Preheat oven to 350 F.
4 C. halved plums*
1 ¼ C. milk
1/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. almond extract
2 C. sifted flour
1/8 tsp. salt
Butter a heavy glass or ceramic pie tin. If you prefer your plums skinned, dip the fruit in boiling water for ten seconds, peel them, and then slice them in half.
In a blender put all the other ingredients – while the plums patiently wait. Whirl until smooth. Pour one-quarter of an inch of batter in the bottom of the buttered pan. Arrange the plums in an attractive double layer on top of this.
Once arranged, pour the rest of the batter over the fruit, slowly, trying not to dislodge your carefully arranged pattern. Hint: A wide bowled spoon may be turned upside down so the curved side is up. Hold this above the clafouti and pour the batter over it so that a gentle fan of batter is spread, helping the fruit to stay in place.
Bake for fifty minutes to an hour in the middle rack of an oven.
Serves four as a main dish, six as a side. Best served warm. Once out of the oven, sprinkle with powdered sugar if you wish, or a grating of nutmeg.
* or nectarines, peaches, apricots, or cherries. Mix them up for new combinations.