Baking with plums is wonderful, not just because plums are so tasty, but because plums are a beautiful color and make for some of the most incredible looking desserts you’ll come across. The flesh of most plums is a reddish yellow color. Most of the coloring of the fruit comes from the skin, so I tend to leave it on when I bake with them. Leaving the skin on saves a lot of prep time, and the skin is tender and easy to both eat and slice through, so it isn’t unpleasant (as some other peels are) in a finished product – and it sure is lovely to see.
This time around, I used plums in a Plum Clafoutis. A clafoutis is a french dessert that is somewhere between a custard and a cake in consistency, easy to slice through but with an eggy flavor. It is a great backdrop for all kinds of fruit, from strawberries to pears. The batter comes together very quickly and is poured over fresh fruit, then baked. My plums were relatively small, so I halved them and arranged them cut-side-up in my baking dish, resulting in a colorful and dramatic look for the finished dish.
In the oven, the plums become meltingly tender and sweet. They really stand out against the lightly sweet, eggy backdrop of the clafoutis. I added a bit of almond extract to the batter, which complimented the plums very nicely. The color pops even more than the flavor, as the plums manage to replicate the colors of the most amazing sunset you’ll ever see. I like this when it is served at room temperature, but it is also good after being chilled in the refrigerator before serving.
8 ripe plums
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk (low fat is fine)
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 425F and lightly grease a deep 9-inch pie plate or a 10-inch round baking/tart dish.
Wash plums, then slice in half and remove pits and stems. Arrange cut-side up in prepared baking dish (depending on the size of your plums, you may have an extra half that won’t fit).
In a food processor, blend flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, milk, vanilla and almond extracts until smooth, about 15 seconds. This can also be done by whisking vigorously by hand until the batter is smooth. Pour mixture on top of pears and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Bake for 15 minutes at 425F. Turn oven down to 350F and bake an additional 25-30 minutes, until clafoutis is golden brown and a tester (sharp knife) inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.