When new words enter my vocabulary, usually as foreign language names by way of a menu, I'm usually unsure how to pronounce them. I remember the first time a friend and I went out to lunch when we were teenagers and there was a debate as to how to pronounce foccacia. My friend ordered it and pronounced it correctly but then the waitress corrected her. "It's fukachiya" she said butchering the word in her broad Aussie accent. My friend was suitably chastised and mumbled "Yes that one please" and the waitress flounced off in the incorrectly superior knowledge that she really knew how to pronounce it. Of course my friend was right after all but not after we had to consult people i.e. our Italian friends to see how it was really pronounced should we ever be condescended to again.
Clafoutis is not as difficult to pronounce as say some of the luxury brands like Hermes (I've heard it pronounces"Hermies") or Versace (frequently mispronounced as "Versaitch"), the impossible Loewe or let's not forget Jennifer Hawkins and many others calling Chanel "Channel". I made this for a friend once and she said "I made a Claufoutiss once and it was easy". She was pronouncing it incorrectly (it is klah-foo-tee) but I didn't have the heart to tell her that. Or perhaps I should have. I never know whether people want to know. It's like being told that you have spinach in your teeth. You immediately recall the catalogue of people that saw you that afternoon with a green flecked smile or whoever you mispronounced clafoutis to.
Pronunciation aside, this is a truly easy dessert and takes advantage of the abundance of stone fruit we have had lately. I've discovered I've got slightly different taste buds from Mr NQN. Fruit to me is never sweet enough and so stone fruits are ok but the only ones I really love are cherries and sugar plums. Plums are just that much too tart for me. The way to solve this is of course to bake it in a clafoutis and you can add the sugar and a creamy custard to counteract the tartness.
The method is over within 10 minutes and leaving it in the oven for 50-55 minutes means that you could easily serve it for guests. It is best newly out of the oven as it sinks when it cools and gets quite dense otherwise. I always serve it with ice cream but then again I have warned you that I am a sweet tooth. If you hadn't gathered that already ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, do you tell people if they have spinach in their teeth?
Plum & Nectarine Clafoutis
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
10 plums or nectarines (or any stone fruit including apricots and cherries)
200grams caster/superfine sugar
2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
5 large eggs
butter to grease
1/4 cup flaked almonds (optional)
icing sugar to dust
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Grease the base of the baking dish with butter and sprinkle one tablespoon of the sugar on the base of the baking dish. Cut the fruit in half and remove the stone and place cut side down on the bottom of the dish.
Step 2 - In a blender, whiz the rest of the sugar, milk, cream, flour, vanilla and eggs for 2 minutes until all lumps have disappeared. Pour over the fruit which will then pop up to the top. Sprinkle almonds over the top and then bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes until golden and risen.
Step 3 - Remove from oven and dust 1 tablespoon of icing sugar on top and serve with ice cream.