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.
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)March 23, 2011
I’ve bookmarked this one for summer, which is the only time we get good local plums. What a wonderful dessert idea, and thanks for the reminder that clafoutis is flexible and amenable to so many different fruits.
Justeen @ Blissful BakingMarch 23, 2011
This clafoutis looks lovely! I love that you added a touch of almond extract, yum!
D.LiffMarch 23, 2011
Yum! I really need to make the investment in some almond extract – I always wait until I’ve seen enough recipes I want to try with an ingredient before purchasing but this one I think puts me over the edge 🙂
SuesMarch 23, 2011
Clafoutis are my all-time favorite dessert, but I’ve never thought to do a plum one! I love blueberry and cherry, but I think this has to be next 🙂
Lauren @ Healthy Food For LivingMarch 24, 2011
I love that there’s no butter in this dessert! How do you think it would turn out with whole wheat pastry flour?
NicoleMarch 24, 2011
Lauren – I’ve never used whole wheat pastry flour in this recipe, but I believe that the clafoutis would still turn out. I think it depends how much you like the flavor of whole wheat flour, which might overwhelm the light and custardy flavor of the dessert if its too strong. Give it a try, though, and see how it turns out !
Sprinzette @ Ginger and AlmondsMarch 25, 2011
How gorgeous. This is definitely one for my list – plums are always so perfect cooked.
MollyMarch 25, 2011
YUM. This looks really pretty. I have a bag of plums sitting in my refrigerator that I am not sure I will be able to eat up. I never thought I could bake with them!!
CrisMay 19, 2011
Peach clafoutis is a favorite of mine, I like the idea of trying it with plums. Always feel guilty about how much butter my recipe calls for so I look forward to trying this butterless version as soon as plums are in season!
EmilySeptember 9, 2011
Do you think this would work with nectarines instead of plums? Or a combo of nectarines and strawberries or blueberries? I’ve got tons of these fruits I need to use up and this looks delicious…
NicoleSeptember 9, 2011
Emily – Yes it will – and the combination with berries sounds like a great one, too!
SteroidsMarch 9, 2012
Yum! I really need to make the investment in some almond extract â€“ I always wait until Iâ€™ve seen enough recipes I want to try with an ingredient before purchasing but this