Apparently I am obsessed with all foods French right now, and I have to promise that it has been unintentional. The inspirations have really been generated by the markets. I have never been the type of cook that values the rules of traditional food preparation, or even pretends to know or understand said rules. French cooking, on the other hand, tends to be rather technical and traditional. There is a certain facet of French cooking that I love however, when the more methodological elements meet grandma’s kitchen and, voilà! You have rustic elegance at its best.
I have also been re-reading The Sweet Life in Paris, by David Lebovitz. This book is a lovely melting together of autobiography and cookbook. I found a recipe that I could not resist making and sharing. It features the star fruit of late summer, and they deserve their cameo; plums and raspberries. And “according to the rules” this dish is to be served with nothing else…as is…no ice cream, no whipped cream, no cookies, cake, or other tasty bites, just warm out of the oven…and you know what? I agree. It is perfect the way it exists naturally.
clafoutis aux pruneaux-framboises…
by Davil Lebovitz
4 tbs salted or unsalted butter, melted, plus more
1 pound firm, ripe plums
1 cup raspberries
3 large eggs
½ cup flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup plus 2 tbs sugar
1 1/3 cup whole milk
1. Position the rack in the top third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
2. Liberally butter the bottom and sides of a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Halve the plums, remove the pits, and place them cut side down over the bottom of the baking dish. If the plums are quite large, cut them into quarters. Scatter the raspberries over the plums.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth. Whisk the butter and flour into the eggs until completely smooth, and then add the vanilla. Whisk in ½ cup sugar, then the milk.
4. Pour the custard mixture over the fruit and bake for 30 minutes.
5. After 30 minutes, slide out the rack that the clafoutis is resting on, and sprinkle 2 tbs of sugar over the top.
6. Continue baking the clafoutis for about 30 more minutes, until the custard feels slightly firm in the center and the top is a nice golden brown.
Serving: Serve warm or a room temperature. Clafoutis is best served shortly after it is baked. I [the author] prefer it without any accompaniment, as it is traditionally served.
Mmmmmm…summer. Tart plums and raspberries and sweet custard, comfortable and homey.
Cook together, toast to each other, and enjoy!