Unfussy Fare

Plum Clafouti


Clafouti is a simple, custardy fruit concoction. It’s also a richly deserving home for those plums loitering in your fruit bowl.  You could try other fruits, too.  Consider this recipe a blank canvas for your fruity whims. Clafouti. It’s fun to say. It rhymes with snooty and booty, if you’ve got a hankering to write a limerick. (Keep it clean, people.)

Making this required distracting my child for the time it took to slice, whisk, pour, photograph, and write about the whole thing. Will I be named Mother of the Year for whipping up yet another fabulous homemade dessert with fresh seasonal fruit? Or will I be inducted into the Bad Mother Hall of Fame for letting my five-year-old watch Tom and Jerry reruns on a glorious summer morning? (“Ha ha ha, Mom.  You should see this. The cat stuck a stick in a snowball, and lit it, and it exploded.”)  Yes, well. Sacrifices must be made.


The recipes I read all said to mix the batter in a blender or a food processer. I used a whisk and a bowl, because it seemed simpler. That resulted in some unsightly flour clumps, because I grew bored of whisking after about thirty seconds. The lesson: Either use the blender, or whisk with with a little gumption, for crying out loud. The batter should be smooth.

(Why do I persist in not following recipes to the letter? Maybe because in my heart of hearts, I suspect people take perverse pleasure in making things seem harder than they really are. Are all those steps REALLY necessary? When my shortcuts work out, I feel all smug and superior. When they backfire, I feel all foolish and predictable.)

The clafouti came out of the oven gloriously puffed. It slumped as it cooled, but that’s just how it goes with calfouti. Or so I’ve read. This was my first attempt. There will most certainly be more. I don’t mind that it tastes better than it looks. Cherry clafouti is calling my name.

Claufouti is best served warm.  I am here to tell you that it is silky, sweet, and sumptuous served warm. If it happens to reach the ideal temperature at 10:30 in the morning….well, who’s going to stop you? I’d like to believe that eating warm clafouti on the porch with his mom had a bigger impact on my son’s psyche this morning than cartoon explosions.

Clafouti recipes abound. They’re all variations on the same fruit-custard theme. I cobbled this together after skimming half a dozen recipes, so I can’t properly attribute it. Nobody owns clafouti, right?



3 large plums, pitted and sliced into eight wedges each
½ cup plus one tablespoon sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon brandy
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
confectioners’ sugar

Put rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375 degrees.

Butter a nine-inch cake pan.

Spread plums in one layer on bottom of pan. Sprinkle one tablespoon sugar over plums.

Blend together eggs, milk, flour, salt, butter, brandy, extract and remaining ½ cup sugar until smooth.

Pour batter over plums.

Bake clafouti until it is puffed and golden and the center is set, about 45 minutes. (The center will be a little jiggly. It’s meant to be soft. If it looks flat-out liquid, keep cooking.)

Cool clafouti for ten minutes on a rack.

Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.

12 Responses to “Plum Clafouti”

  1. sarah says:

    Your clafouti looks absolutely scrumptious, as did your steak salad and tomatoes with the blue cheese dressing (and cookies and beets and…) Is it okay if I just camp out on your porch and wait around for scraps? I know anything you make will be rockin’ good!

  2. Kate Carroll says:

    I happen to love Tom and Jerry. I grew up on them and Gilligan’s Island and I am a moderately well-adjusted person. I try not to ever blow up anything. However, I think that I shall take a trip and have some clafouti with Gillian and her son instead of making it myself. That sounds like much more fun.

  3. Gillian says:

    All comers to our house are welcome. (Well, uh, presuming I know you…) Cooking is really just an elaborate way to make friends, isn’t it?

  4. Linda says:

    How fun! I stopped to take a gander at YOUR recipe as mine is right next to you on Food Gawker!

    You are right – no matter how you make, it…just make it!!!

  5. Derek Oslo says:

    Queen Clafuoti guides
    Her barge through Ovo-lacto
    waters of the Nile.

  6. Gillian says:

    Hey Linda: Yes, I noticed your picture on foodgawker. Your clafouti took a better picture than mine, that’s for sure! I’ll try some sour cream next time. Mmmm.

    And Derek, nice haiku. Much classier than rhyming clafouti with booty and snooty limerick-style.

  7. Pamela Perry says:

    I was thinking, hmmmm, plums … tooty … that’s not a very nice thing to write on the comments section of a food blog … then again, coming from me it’s exactly what I should write on the comments section of a food blog. Too many plums equals Tooty Clafouti! Even so

    BTW, Tom and Jerry were doing what? ;)

  8. Gillian says:

    Tooty, of course! Leave it to Pamela.

    Tom and Jerry apparently just do a lot of chasing, eluding, booby-trapping, and exploding things. That’s as much as I’ve been able to ascertain by listening from the other room. I’m not even clear which one is Tom and which one is Jerry.

  9. Pamela Perry says:

    Tom = cat … as in tomcat … not to be confused with the fusing of Mr. and Mrs. Cruise … weren’t we talking about plums?

    My sister dropped off a big bag of backyard tomatoes … I promised them (the tomatoes) that I would slather them with your blue cheese dressing and call them (the tomatoes) heirloom.


  10. angelica galindo says:

    hi there,
    i love that your recipe was very basic with everyday ingredients (as im not an avid baker) your story and your process were delightful to read. I rarely bake with fresh fruit but i had all of these plums i had no desire to eat raw and wanted to bake so i googled and other recipes were just complicated. I tried yours but substituted a few things as opposed to reg flour i used bisquick flour because i read it was to be jiggly and i wanted more cakey texture. i did not use the brandy or almond extract but i did use twice the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice and I added kiwi. usually im afraid to shortcut or modify recipes but your whimsical story of trial and error gave me the courage haha. it came out really good. i love it and now i think i will use this recipe to have something nice to do with really ripe fruit as opposed to tossing it before it goes bad.

  11. Gillian says:

    Well, angelica…for a girl who doesn’t usually tinker with recipes, you’ve gone full throttle into pumpkin spice and kiwi! More power to you. You might also try the nectarine upside-down cake, if you’re trying to use up your fruit. And crisps are pretty easy to get along with, too. good luck!

  12. recipes says:

    Hello, I found your blog on yahoo and read allot of your other recipes. I love what you have topost. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good job. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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