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