Monday, August 23, 2010

a little sweetness to start your week :: plum-strawberry clafouti

I can confidently say that this dessert's a beauty...and delightfully tasty as well.  My attention often turns to my oven and thoughts of baking when it's a dreary, rainy day.  So that's precisely what I did yesterday amidst the pouring rain and high winds.  Dreaming of sunnier weather and more romantic, uplifting scenery, my thoughts naturally turned to Paris.  And my baking whimsy turned to clafouti, a classic French dessert that bundles together the most simple of ingredients - flour, milk, eggs, sugar and whatever fresh fruit your inspired-heart desires.  The result is nothing less than lovely, and is studded with gorgeous, naturally sweet fruit (something seasonal of course).  I'd been wanting to do something with the pint of plums I purchased at the farmers market, so they were a natural fit.  And to make things even more interesting, I tossed in some adorable little tristar strawberries that have hit the greenmarket in the past few weeks- they're tiny and not too tart, and not too sweet.  And without further adieu, the recipe follows along with a few more stylish, chic French photos...just in case you're looking for an excuse to daydream a bit.  And don't worry, the clafouti didn't sit around for long, it accompanied me to a Sunday night dinner party with good friends.  A perfect way to finish the weekend.  Bon appetit! 

6 small plums, pitted and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon brandy
1 cup tristar strawberries, stems removed
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
confectioner's sugar for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss plums with 1 tablespoon sugar and brandy and allow to macerate for about 10-15 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer plums to a shallow 2 quart baking dish or pie/tart pan.  Add in strawberries and mix evenly with plums.  
Combine remaining sugar, flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk together.  In a separate mixing bowl, combine eggs, butter, milk, vanilla and any leftover brandy and whisk until blended.  Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and steadily whisk in egg mixture to avoid a lumpy batter.  Pour batter over fruit. 
Bake for about 35 minutes, cool and sprinkle confectioner's sugar over top.  
*note: it might be a bit more indulgent, but I'm considering getting a little wild and testing this out next time with a 1/2 cup whole milk and 1/2 heavy whipping cream - rather than a full cup of milk

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