Tag Archives: plums

The best-ever plum clafoutis?

A gift from Pablo, a shopping bag full of red plums. His plum trees were absolutely laden, he and his sons simply could not eat enough plums. What a hardship for us. So, our minds raced away… jam, plum cake, poached plums… or clafoutis. Once we had thought that last word, there was no other choice. clafoutis - cut into1 18-7-14This is our version of an Australian recipe, found online [see the link below]. Ours took longer to cook than the stated 15 minutes. We put it back in and set the timer for another three minutes, twice. But that’s just our oven. It’s not done until the custard is set. When it came out of the oven it was not as magnificently puffy as other clafoutis we have made, but trust me, the taste is wonderful: the eggy batter, not-too-sweet almost sour plums, and the mascarpone. basket of plums 18-7-14Serves 4-6
12 plums, halved, stones removed
½ cup caster sugar
300ml cream
3 eggs
2/3 cup plain flour
1 tsp vanilla essence

Pre-heat the oven to 190C/170F fan. Grease an ovenproof dish and lay the plum halves in a flat layer, cut side down. plums - in dish, close-up 18-7-14Sprinkle a little sugar over the plums. plums - in dish, sugar 18-7-14To make the batter, place the cream, eggs, flour, vanilla essence and remaining sugar in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour over plums, taking care not to disturb the fruit. plum - in batter 18-7-14Bake for 15 minutes, until puffy and golden. We served it with a spoonful of mascarpone, let down with a little cream. just out of the oven 18-7-14For a different plum clafoutis recipe, made with our yellow plums, click here.

This recipe was selected online, at random, from the search results for ‘plum clafoutis’. It is by Australian supermarket Coles. Click here for loads more Coles recipes. plateful 18-7-145 to remember
un regalo – a gift
una bolsa – a shopping bag
lleno/a – full
muchas dificultades – hardship
la mente – the mind

Something is eating our plums

We have a complicated relationship with our fruit trees. We hover over them in the spring, waiting for the first sight of budding fruit as the blossom finishes. We discuss whether to spray or not to spray against the bugs. When we were new here we tried the British allotment trick of hanging old shiny cd’s to trees with fishing twine, in an attempt to deter the birds: Pablo was mystified by this, and the birds took absolutely no notice. half-eaten fruit1 7-8-13We get upset when the crop is poor, but get irritated when the crop yields a glut so huge we cannot possibly eat it all. We try to be philosophical, the uneaten fruit we leave on the tree is food for the birds after all and we do enjoy birdwatching. But the birds, and other animals, don’t just eat the fruit on the heavily-laden trees. Damn them, they eat the few choice nectarines on our only tree, a young tree that last year at its best yielded six fruit. The plum crumbles, fig cakes, pots of poached peaches, pear pies and all manner of tempting desserts disappear from our imaginations with a ‘pop’ of reality. half-eaten fruit2 7-8-13And now, something is eating our plums and carefully leaving evidence to prove it. The trail of plum stones down the steps and along the terrace suggests a marten. Last year we had a red fox which cheerfully ate its way through the figs and plums, fastidiously settling itself on a sunbed cushion to eat its feast at night. red fox - Wild Animals book 14-8-13Our certainty that it was a veggie fox was due to two pieces of evidence: D saw it, in the dusky light of evening, skulking beneath the honeysuckle which spreads beneath the fig tree; and fig seeds in the fox poo left on the terrace and the drive [we have a great book, Wild Animals, a DK Pocket Nature guide, which helpfully features a picture of said animal’s poo next to its description]. stone marten - Wild Animals book 14-8-13So I think we can assume that whatever is eating our plums is not a fox, for one there’s no fox poo evidence. Two, we found a half-eaten plum and a stone on top of one of the terrace pillars: not natural territory for a fox. Perhaps it is a stone marten again. We won’t know, unless we see it. Or see some poo.
5 to remember
la relación – relationship
complicado/a – complicated
brillante – shiny
con filosofía
– philosophical
la cama de solar – sunbed
Wild Animals - DK Pocket Nature 14-8-13

‘Wild Animals’ by DK Pocket Nature

An out-of-the-ordinary clafoutis

A real clafoutis is made with cherries but they are not in season now, instead we have a large bowlful of plums to eat. plum clafoutis - a plum 11-8-13So this is a Spanish experiment, adapted from a gooseberry clafoutis made by Nigella which, incidentally, she recommends eating as leftovers for breakfast the next day. We eat half as pudding with Greek-style yogurt but there’s little chance the rest will last as long as breakfast, it may constitute supper. plum clafoutis - the pudding 11-8-13Serves 4-6 [or two very greedy people]
1 tbsp butter
35og plums, washed, halved and stoned
6 large eggs
100g plain flour
75g sugar
½ tsp orange flower water
1 tsp vanilla extract
300ml double cream [we used longlife nata para cocinar]
300ml milk
Icing sugar for dusting [which Nigella suggests but we didn’t bother with] plum clafoutis - recipe page 11-8-13Preheat the oven to 190°C.gas 5, put in a baking sheet to heat up. When it has reached temperature, grease a 20cm diameter pie dish with the butter, and put in the plums. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Make the batter by putting all ingredients in a food processor, blend until smooth and combined. When the plums have had their 10 minutes in the oven, pour the batter over the fruit, and put the dish back into the oven. Cook for 35 minutes [ours needed a little longer to set the batter, but that may just be our oven]. plum clafoutis - bowlful 11-8-13The clafoutis is cooked when it is set in the middle and golden-brown and puffy around the edges. When you take it out of the oven it will have risen quite high [below] but as it cools it will sink [bottom] which is quite normal.plum clafoutis - just out of the oven risen 11-8-13plum clafoutis - just out of the oven sunk 11-8-13 plum clafoutis - book cover 11-8-135 to remember
la grosella – gooseberry
no es temporada de cerezas ahora – cherries are not in season now
el experimento – experiment
los restos – leftovers
el robot de cocina – food processor