The epicureanFrench dessert:
Clafoutis with plumsStone fruit is shyly making its appearance. To make the most of it, the Epicurean made clafoutis.
Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but summer feels like it is right around the corner. Sure, it’s been only two weeks since the start of spring, but what a start! Besides the long days and bright blue skies, evidence of the change of seasons can be readily found on the market stalls. Tomatoes finally have taste, fruit is redolent with enticing smells and my favourite type of fruit is shyly making its first appearance: stone fruit, the family that includes cherries, nectarines, peaches and plums.
To make the most of this early crop of plums, I have opted for simplicity this time and dug out a recipe for clafoutis, a French dessert that is usually made with cherries.
Start by preheating your oven to 200°C and placing the rack in the middle. Liberally butter a 30cm ceramic or glass tart dish, dust it with a bit of flour and shake off the excess. Cut the plums and get rid of their pits. Arrange the sliced plums evenly in the prepared dish and place it to one side.
Mix the sugar, flour, cream, vanilla extract, orange zest and egg yolks in a large bowl. Whisk them vigorously until they have formed a smooth batter. Then whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until they are firm and glossy.
To achieve this texture, it is imperative to have a spotless bowl and whisk, as even a little bit of fat will prevent the egg whites from foaming properly. Gently add the egg whites to the rest of the ingredients and fold them in until everything is incorporated.
Pour the batter over the plums until it almost reaches the rim of the baking dish. Place the dish carefully into the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Turn the temperature down to 180°C and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes, until the edges are brown and the centre is cooked.
Remove the clafoutis from the oven and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. Dust with a little powdered sugar and serve warm.
Anastasios Sarampalis is a lecturer at the Psychology Department.
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