Michel Roux’s book “Desserts” has a chapter called Crêpes, batters and beignets. I’ve decided to make this the next step in my learning and make all kinds of delicious dishes including donuts, fried fruit parcels and soufflé crêpes.
First up though was clafoutis, one of my favourite fruit desserts.
Traditionally made with cherries, clafoutis is like a batter-based flan which is poured over seasonal stone fruit that has been macerated in sugar.
The result is a mix between a set custard and a batter.
I’ve tried several recipes over the years and they are vastly different, especially the amount of flour to use in the batter. Michel Roux uses 160g whereas Raymond Blanc only uses one tablespoon.
The rest of the batter ingredients are fairly standard – eggs, sugar and butter. Some use a mix of cream and milk, others just milk on its own.
Some create beurre noisette and some include vanilla pods for extra flavour.
I used a simpler version of Raymond Blanc’s and featured plums as my fruit since they were on sale in the supermarket and cherries are currently exorbitantly expensive.
For the plums
450g plums, stoned and cut lengthwise into 8ths
3 tbsp caster sugar
For preparing the dish
10g Unsalted butter, melted
30g Caster sugar
For the batter
2 medium eggs
45g caster sugar
20g unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp plain flour
50ml whole milk
75ml whipping cream
1 pinch sea salt
To prepare the plums
Gently mix the plums and sugar in a bowl. Cover and leave to macerate for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
To prepare the dish
Brush the inside with the melted butter. Add the sugar and tilt the dish to coat the sides and base evenly; shake out the excess.
To make the clafoutis
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and caster sugar together until creamy. Add the flour to the egg and sugar mixture and whisk until smooth, then slowly incorporate the milk, cream, salt and butter. Stir in the plums with their juice and then pour into the prepared baking dish.
To cook the clafoutis
Bake for 30–35 minutes until the clafoutis is lightly risen and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to stand for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with caster sugar if using and serve just warm.