French clafoutis is the lightest pudding around -the perfect end to a heavy Sunday Roast- with arguably the prettiest name. The focus of this pudding should be its fruit, as ripe and flavoursome as possible, with the surrounding batter as no more than a delicately sweet cushion holding everything together. The recipe below has its roots in a Raymond Blanc classic which, out of circumstance and necessity, I changed around so much so that it no longer ressembles the original; I thus feel half-justified to call this recipe my own!
10-12 ripe plums
1 tbsp. caster sugar
1/2 tbsp. rum
20cm round baking/oven-proof dish, greased
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180C/350F
Destone and quarter the plums and place them in the baking dish. Scatter the sugar over the fruit as evenly as possible; likewise with the rum. Place the plums in the oven to warm through, soaking up the sugar and the alcohol, whilst you make the batter.
45g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla/almond extract
40g plain flour, sifted
125ml whole milk
25g unsalted butter
Place the sugar, eggs and extract into a medium-sized bowl before whipping them together for a while until pale, thick and fluffy (girls may want to use an electric whisk, or their boyfriends). Add the flour and mix well. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a gentle heat to make a buerre noisette- sounds scary 'cause it's French but is easy to do: when brown flecks appear and the melted butter starts to smell nutty, take it off the heat and add to the egg mixture. Give the batter a good stir before removing the plums from the oven and pouring the batter over the fruit. Bake the clafoutis for 30-35 mins, until the centre is nice and springy but the top not too brown. Serve warm with custard or cream.