06 August 2011

Rainier Cherry and Plum Clafouti

I almost threw this out. I mean, reallly. Look at this dish of baked ugliness. Think back to other food blog posts that waxed pathetic on the 'ugly food' dilemma. Think back to good recipes in cookbooks that forego a glossy photo of the finished dish. Yes ... there is ugly food in this world. So, in this case, I closed my eyes and took a deep sniff ...

Earlier, my thoughts were centered elsewhere ...



My work island in the kitchen is always a source of frustration for me. It seems like it's always 'the dumping ground' for any and all - recipes to try, mail that one or the other of us feels important, plants that friends entrust to our care, vegetables from the garden, the shopping list, various and sundry, keys, the bouquet de jour, the dogs' leads, the cookie jar, trivets and trivia. Get  it? See what I mean? Got a place like that in your kitchen?

I swear. There are times when I just want to lay the entire length of my arm across one end of that island and do a clean sweep. I want to listen to the swish and clatter, the smash and smush, the tinkle and thud. It would be sooo cathartic. Alas, my repressed Yankee self won't allow it, though. I'm such a damn prude.

Instead, I stand and look at it.  I sort though it, such a tedious task, and find inspiration sometimes.

Today, among the detritus, there arose this bouquet de jour.



There were these, too.



Damn, I love the colors of high summer. I haven't made a sweet something for a few days, so these were calling out to be used ... and besides, they need to vacate the island, or else! An hour or two later ... I know. Nothing much to look at, but the smells of plums and cherries and sugar and brandy are hanging heavy in the kitchen and there's a pot of coffee on.



The bouquet's on the dining room table. Some junk is still on the other end of the kitchen work island ... with a little room, now, for new clutter. Damn!

Cherry and Plum Clafouti
adapted from a CI of A recipe

Ingredients:

Steeped Fruit:
4 c. sliced plums and cherries
¼ c. good brandy
4 tbsp. sugar

Clafouti Batter:
3 large eggs
6 tbsp. sugar
1 ¾ c. milk
2 tbsp. spiced rum
½ tsp. vanilla
⅛ tsp. salt
1 ½ c. sifted flour

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting before serving
Whipped cream to accompany the dessert

Making the Dessert:

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

2. Spray an 8 or 9 inch pan or pie plate with cooking spray.

3. Slice the plums and halve the pitted cherries. Measure 4 cups of prepared fruit into a glass bowl.

4. Place the brandy and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve all the sugar. Pour the brandy and sugar over the plums and cherries, tossing to coat the fruit. Set aside for one hour.

4. When the marinating time is almost up, whip the eggs and sugar in a deep bowl until frothy.

5. Measure in the milk, rum, vanilla, and salt. Stir well.

6. Sift in the flour and stir until there are no lumps.

7. Pour ⅓ of the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan, layer on the fruit, pour the remaining juices and brandy over the fruit, drizzle the remaining batter over the top of the fruit, and bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

8. When the top of the clafouti is golden brown and a cake tester comes clean, remove and cool gently.

9. Scoop servings into shallow bowls and serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.

Note: Use only dead ripe and very sweet plums in this recipe. I used one plum that was under ripe and it provided a 'sour surprise in a few bites of our dessert.







13 comments:

  1. Ha ha - yes, I have a counter in my kitchen that ends up with everything and it drives me INSANE! Right now I have a whole stack of recipes on it, plus a cooking magazine. My camera. My phone. And a bunch of other stuff. Oh and a cookbook that I'm going to be using tonight. Anyway, I've never made a clafouti but every time I see someone else has I want to make one. I can smell it now, especially the brandy. Save me a piece, I'm on my way!

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  2. Ah, sounds, and yes, looks great! I have one of those areas too. On my kitchen table!

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  3. well yes, I'm not mad keen on either clafouti or kitchen islands... and i'm debating on having one for my new kitchen (an island that is...) but it will no doubt become the centre of detritus for the household... I will bookmark this post, not for the recipe (which i think looks lovely by the way) but as a reminder to The Viking when he complains about clutter!

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  4. I would kill for an island in my kitchen. My kitchen is quite small so I can't have any clutter what so ever. The dessert looks delicious. Fruit desserts are always my favorite.

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  5. I love all the deep burgundy and reds of late summer too. This clafouti looks delicious!

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  6. Hmmm. I made my one and only clafouti when friends were visiting a few years ago. I didn't have the right pan, so used a souffle dish. A few weeks later I received a gift from one of the friends who happens to be a potter. I now have a dish designed for clafouti, and a reminder (via your post) about how good it tastes. Guess I'll have to get busy. Maybe a few end of season peaches... And I have become a ruthless tidier. You can't set a glass down for five minutes on my island (which is really a peninsula) without it getting bused.

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  7. I have areas like that all over the house...our house is far too small for us...so I get urges like that constantly. If I let things go for even a week (and I do) it's so frustrating. I would like to just close my eyes and eat a big slice of this! It sounds deeelish :)

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  8. Awww, some food just doesn't photograph well. It smells and tastes amazing, but it looks, well, not gorgeous. I'm so glad you were able to enjoy the clafoutis even if you weren't thrilled with the eye appeal :)

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  9. Sometimes food that doesn't look good still tastes amazing. That's what I learned from my grade ten culinary arts class when we made overly wet lasagna and tried to cut it afterwards (it came out like a pile of chunky soup)...

    By the way, are those actually caterpillars on your parsley? I almost didn't notice because the caterpillars are also green, but once I did, I got a little freaked out...

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  10. I feel almost as if I can smell the dish from here...and it's enough to convince me that this clafouti was delicious!

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  11. Oh my you added plums in your clafouti! You clever soul Susan. Love it! Looks like I am the only one who missed the Rainier cherry train this summer. Oh well! For some reason I am determined to work with raspberries this week :)

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  12. The rum addition in this recipe, from my point of view, makes all the difference... Delicious!!

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  13. Plums, cherries, brandy, rum, vanilla, whipped cream, coffee...ugly maybe, but who cares?
    I'm having a giveaway this week, come by and enter!

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