This recipe for Brown Sugar Plum Clafoutis is an easy and elegant classic French dessert made with seasonal fresh fruit and plenty of eggs. I also include an option for using duck eggs!
Clafoutis is a classic French dessert that sounds uber-fancy, but it's actually one of the easiest things you can make. Truth! A few years ago, I was absolutely obsessed with it. I made one every few days and ate it for breakfast, snacked on it in the afternoon, and polished the rest off for dessert. I also couldn't stop saying the name: Cla-fooouuuuu-teeee!
This recipe came about after an old friend payed a visit to Soulberri with his wife and new baby. I wasn't around to see them, but they graciously left behind a carton of big, beautiful duck eggs. If you've never had duck eggs before, they're a lot like chicken eggs, only a lot bigger. They have a slightly different consistency, but it's subtle. Duck eggs are thicker and richer; more viscous; creamier. It's almost hard to describe, and to be honest, if you sat a plate of scrambled duck eggs in front of me and told me they were just regular old chicken eggs, I'd probably believe you.
After making several bacon-cheese-tomato-duck egg breakfast sandwich situations, I felt inspired to bake something with the pint of plums that were quickly getting soft in my fridge. My first thought was The New York Times Famous Plum Torte, but then I really didn't know how to substitute them in for chicken eggs, especially considering they were all different sizes. Then I thought about clafoutis, the eggy, custardy baked fruit dessert that happens to extremely forgiving. It's been sooo long since I last made one. But why? Probably because Chaser began complaining. When I get obsessed with foods, he tires of them quickly. "Clafoutis AGAIN??"
Well it's safe to say I'm back on the clafoutis-wagon. It's hands-down one of the easiest desserts to make, and its high concentration of fruit and eggs means it's basically healthy and you get to eat it for any meal of the day. Eggs, milk, a little flour, vanilla, and in this case, brown sugar all get mixed up into an eggy, crepe-like batter. I opted to use brown sugar instead of the typical white because I wanted a deeper, more complex flavor. I also used duck eggs since, well, that's what I had. Don't worry, I give directions for using regular chicken eggs, too.
The batter comes together effortlessly. You can totally whisk it up by hand, but many recipes call for using a blender instead since it easily gets everything nice and smooth. That's all fine and good, but for me, cleaning a blender is more of a chore than whisking, so I often just do it by hand, Plus, I like the workout. But when I'm feeling lazy (and let's be real, I often am), I bust out one of my favorite kitchen tools - the immersion blender (this is the one I use). It does the same job as a blender, only with much easier clean-up.
You can use just about any fruit in a clafoutis. I usually just throw in whatever I have that's laying around and about to go bad. Berries, apples, pears, peaches, you name it. It all works. The classic recipe calls for cherries, which is funny, because that's probably my least favorite of all the fruits I've tried. Not only do I find the taste and texture inferior, honestly, who has the patience to pit all those cherries in the first place? Plums are in the same stone fruit family, and I think they make a fine replacement.
Arrange the plums in a baking dish, pour the batter over top, then bake. It's as simple as that. This is such an incredibly forgiving and flexible recipe that you can play around with the ingredients, flavorings, and proportions until you find something that you really like. I hope you give it a try.
One Year Ago: Heirloom Tomato Salad with Blue Cheese + Fried Shallots
Two Years Ago: Baked Goat Cheese + Chive Stuffed Tomatoes / Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche / Honey Roasted Plum Crostini with Burrata + Prosciutto
Three Years Ago: Chicken Milanese / Grilled Pizzas with Corn + Prosciutto
Four Years Ago: Cape May Lobster Rolls / Rosemary Creamed Corn
Five Years Ago: New Orleans Style "BBQ" Clams
An easy and elegant French fruit-based dessert.
- butter, for greasing the dish
- granulated sugar, for dusting the dish
- 1 ¼ cups milk*
- 4 large eggs**
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3-4 ripe, but firm plums, pitted and sliced
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch pie plate or similar sized oven-safe dish, then sprinkle with a little bit of granulated sugar. Roll the dish around so the sugar sticks to the butter, then shake out any excess.
- Add the milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and flour to a bowl or blender jar. Vigorously whisk or blend to combine (I often use an immersion blender). Scrape down the sides for any stuck bits of flour and blend until very smooth and no lumps remain.
- Arrange the plum slices in the bottom of the prepared dish, then pour batter over top. Bake until puffed and lightly golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Serve warm, room temperature or ice cold (my preference).
- *I prefer whole milk, but any type of milk will work, including non-dairy varieties.
- **to substitute duck eggs, as I did, use 3 big ones in place of the 4 chicken eggs.
Keywords: clafoutis, plums, brown sugar, elegant dessert