I seem to have come to a stage in my life when I enjoy the colder weather more than the heat. Casting my mind back, I struggle to empathise with the slender young woman who lived for the long, hot days of summer, who happily spent hours lazing on the beach and who thought nothing of baring her upper arms in a skimpy, wispy, summer dress. She’s long gone – and so are the skimpy, wispy frocks. The woman I am now embraces the cooler weather and welcomes the camouflage of warm layers, scarves and jackets. This current version of me is also very keen to get back into some of the comfort food that seems to go so well with a roaring fire, fluffy slippers and daggy, old cardigans.
One of the things I still really, really enjoy about summer is the stone fruit – it is difficult to imagine tucking into a big, juicy peach or apricot in winter woollies. These fruit are just made for bare arms to catch the drips and who on earth would consider licking runny juice from a jumper sleeve? While the bulk of the stone fruit might be well gone by now, those of us who subscribe to Jupiter Creek Farm CSA boxes are still finding the occasional late plum nestling in the produce box. The assorted varieties of plums available in Australia fruit from January right into early Autumn and it was on these that my eye fell when checking out the fruit bowl yesterday.
I feel just a little bit cheeky offering a recipe for a clafoutis as they are a very basic dish and most of us can throw one together without too many directions, but there may be one or two of you who haven’t given this charmingly simple dessert a try. Originating in France where the traditional fruit used is cherries, a clafoutis is basically a thin pancake batter poured over fruit and baked. The beauty of this dish is that either fresh or canned fruit can be used without detracting at all from the end result, it is dead simple to make, uses everyday pantry ingredients and can be served hot or at room temperature. I used the last of my autumn plums which sank in the baked batter, making a deliciously jammy layer in the bottom of the dish and served it with pouring cream.
- 1/2 cup caster sugar, plus 1 tbs extra
- 6-8 plums, halved, stone removed
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1 cup plain flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2/3 cup light sour cream
- Icing sugar to serve
- Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a pie dish, sprinkle with 1 tbs caster sugar, swirling to coat the bottom and sides of dish.
- Place plums face down in bottom of dish.
- Place all other ingredients in food processor and whizz until well blended.
- Pour over fruit.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes until browned and puffed up. It will fall as it cools.
- Dust with icing sugar before serving.