I have an impatient streak. It’s why I don’t play golf, and why I can’t read music. It’s why I prefer talking to texting, and why I bring work home. It might also be why I scheduled this post to publish while on vacation. So when things take longer than I think they should, I get frustrated. And when things don’t work out the first time, to say nothing of the second time, I get equally frustrated.
In the kitchen, however, I’m a little more forgiving. In the kitchen, I’m usually willing to forgive a first mishap, and to chalk it up as a culinary rough draft. Some of my recipes even look like the galleys of a novel, with the characteristic cross-outs and line-edits. Ingredients are substituted or subtracted like unwanted sentences, cooking times expand or contract like secondary characters, and quantities increase or decrease as if page numbers.
As writing is to cooking, I’m willing to work through a few rough drafts. And this recipe took more than a few. In all, I made four different versions of this recipe, slowly changing the quantities, configurations, ingredients, and temperatures, until I found what worked.
Clafloutis are a French dessert, most often paired with cherries. But given its French origins, I thought it would be fun to color the dessert with the bleu, blanc, et rouge of le tricolore, the French flag. I started with blueberries, white peaches, and cherries, but the blueberries and cherries splattered when baked. Fitting perhaps, given the tone of the French Revolution and the National Anthem, but not what I wanted. Purple plums and strawberries came next, but the layout was skewed. Then the cooking time was too short, and the quantities were off. Finally, four clafoutis later, I got it right.
Vive la France! Vive le clafoutis!
Peach and Plum Clafoutis
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 45 minutes
YIELD: 8 Servings
WHAT TO GRAB:
3 large red plums
2 white peaches
1 strawberry (optional)
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon extract)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup flour
1 cup low-fat milk
2 teaspoons Confectioners’ sugar
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 12-inch, fluted pie dish, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar along the bottom and sides.
2. Whisk together the eggs, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, and vanilla pods, until well combined. Sift in the flour. Then whisk in the milk.
3. Slice the plums and peaches into eighths. Lay the plum and peach slices within the dish according to the design above – or your own design. Be sure to leave a gap between the edge of the dish and the fruit. Place a sliced strawberry in the middle of the dish.
4. Slowly pour the batter over the fruit, until the batter is about to cover the fruit. Sprinkle the surface with 1 tablespoon of shaved butter and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
5. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the edges have become golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack, then dust with confectioners’ sugar, slice, and serve!