Ah yes… Autumn. We have survived the back-to-school chaos of the last few weeks. Uniforms are all found, lunchbox lids and water bottles have been relocated and are back in action. The children are all delighted to be back at school and we share their delight here at home. The house is quiet again, the floors are magically staying that bit cleaner every day, the laundry pile is a more manageable size—thank goodness for uniforms—and when the kids get home every evening they are starving and ready for bed before it gets dark outside. I. Love. School.
When we were thinking about a recipe for this month’s issue, we wanted to share something that is a fruit lovers dream. This time of year the Blackberries are everywhere, assuming the hedges have not been cut down on your road, and if you have not stashed a bunch in your freezer by now, then start picking. Another thing loading the branches these days are Damson plums. I remember one of my Mum’s friends, all through my childhood, always picking loads of Damson plums from behind her house and making the best Damson jam I have ever tasted. I can’t wait to get my next jar, but in the meantime, no sense in not putting those Damsons to good use!
Tarts, pies, cobblers and crumbles are all over the shops and restaurants but something you rarely see is a good old fashioned clafoutis.
Don’t be scared away by the posh-sounding name. Originally a French dessert, this dish is best explained to taste like sweet summer fruits in a pancake-like batter. It is very simple to prepare and the baking barely takes a half an hour.
Although you can make this dessert without the use of Brandy, why not try something new? We received a bottle of Longueville Apple Brandy and it gave the Clafoutis a lovely kick. This Brandy, all the way from Cork makes a delicious foodie gift too, just incase you are looking for an early Christmas present for friends and family.
Give the dessert a whirl… don’t even wait for an excuse, just bake it as soon as you get your hands on some delicious sweet fruit.
Late summer Clafoutis
- 500g Damson plums, Blackberries and Peaches
- 75g caster sugar
- 75g honey
- 3 tbsp brandy
- 20g butter, melted, plus a bit extra to grease the pie dish
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 50g plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 270ml cream
- Finely grated zest of ½ lemon or an orange
Wash the fruit and remove the stones from the plums and peaches.
Put all the fruit in a bowl and smash a little bit, so the skins pop off but the fruit retains most of its shape.
Add the honey and the brandy to the fruit, tossing it all together, then cover and leave to macerate for an hour or two.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a baking dish, wide enough to hold the fruit in one layer, and add half the brown sugar to coat the inside of the dish.
Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt and the caster sugar. Whisk in the eggs, followed by the cream and the melted butter, until you have a smooth pancake-like batter. Add the lemon (or orange) zest, then tip in the fruit and their honeyed juices.
Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for about a ½ hour, until set. It might be still a bit wobbly in the middle. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.