DessertIshan Jain

Plum & Cognac Clafoutis with Cinnamon Crème Fraîche

DessertIshan Jain

Clafoutis is a simple French dessert made with a pancake-like batter that is poured into a shallow, buttered dish, topped with fruit and baked in the oven until it is puffed and golden. The traditional topping (and the way Meghan and I were taught to make it at the French Culinary Institute) is pitted bing cherries, but any fruit can be used. I like to serve clafoutis warm with whipped cream or crème fraîche on the side. This is a classic country dessert, but it can also be served for breakfast or brunch because of it’s gooey, custard center and caramelized fruit topping. Clafoutis can be baked in one large pan, or little individual dishes like the one shown here. We have a wide selection of plums and pluots in the markets right now, and each has a unique flavor and color. I used a few different varieties in this recipe and sautéed them in butter and sugar, and then added a little bit of Cognac, which makes a bright pink caramel sauce in the pan. This clafoutis has Royal Diamond Plums, Dapple Dandy Pluots, Black Kat Plums and Elephant Heart Plums in it, but feel free to experiment! Substituting grapes or apples for the plums would be a great way to make this dish into a fall favorite. If you use apples, cook them in the pan for a few minutes longer before adding them to the baking dish.

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients

Clafoutis Batter

4 large eggs
1 cup half & half
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted for ramekins
4 5¼-inch crème brulee ramekins

Plums & Cognac

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 to 5 assorted plums and pluots, pitted and sliced into ¾-inch thick wedges
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Cognac

Cinnamon Crème Fraîche

¾ cup crème fraîche
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Mint sprigs for garnish

Preparation

Clafoutis Batter

Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Put all ingredients except the melted butter into a blender and puree until smooth. Let the mixture rest in the blender while you sauté the plums.
Using a pastry brush, coat the inside of each ramekin with melted butter and set them on a baking sheet.

Plums & Cognac

Heat butter in a large non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat until melted and bubbling. Add the plums and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle the salt and sugar over the plums swirl in the pan. Add the Cognac – be careful, the mixture will steam. Using rubber coated tongs, gently turn the plum slices over and cook for another 15 seconds. Turn the pan off.
Divide the clafoutis batter between the 4 ramekins. Gently place the plum slices on top of the batter (they will sink down slightly). To make the top look pretty, make sure that all of the slices are facing the same direction in a pinwheel pattern. Bake for 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Cinnamon Crème Fraîche

Whip the chilled cream or crème fraîche in a bowl until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and cinnamon and whip until blended. Chill until ready to use. Before serving, garnish with a mint sprig for color.

To Serve

Serve the clafoutis warm with the whipped cream or crème fraîche along side.