As I’m writing this, the kids are in their rooms not-napping. If you’ve never heard of a not-nap, it’s a situation where a kid hangs out in his room fighting sleep with Legos and books and playing with feet until they get up and then almost fall asleep at dinner.
But if they’re going to not-nap for an hour, I’m going to whip up something plum delicious.
Plums are in my top 5 favorite fruits; the sweet fruity flesh with a royal purple coat, and cute little pits that pop right out when they’re ripe. I love how the skin bursts when you bite into it. And, they’re perfect to bake with when they’re firm or slightly soft.
I wanted to make something simple, classy, quick, and quiet, in case the kids decided to fall asleep. With a bowl full of plums, I looked around and grabbed some whole milk, eggs, and because I’m fun, brandy.
Welcome to a plum flaugnarde (pronounced: flow nyard).
This French dessert, traditionally with cherries (called a clafoutis), has a custard that’s based on a classic crepe batter. It’s poured over fruit into a buttered pan and baked, and the final product resembles a giant beautiful fruity pancake. I chose plums because they’re in season, but also because they’re a good stone fruit that’s not too juicy, which might make a soggy final product.
It’s baked in a cast iron pan, because I love cast iron. I heated the up in the oven, swirled a bit of butter in it, sprinkled some brown sugar, tossed in the fruit, then poured the batter over the top, and baked until glorious.
The batter itself is thin. There’s not much process to it; everything just gets tossed and mixed into one bowl. Simple, classy, quick, and quiet.
And, it is always, ALWAYS dusted with powdered sugar. Not really. Yes really. Just do it.
The result is a delicate smooth custard with a hint of brandy, topped with lightly caramelized plums in every heavenly bite. It’s rustic yet elegant, satisfying yet light, indulgent yet dainty.
Note that the flaugnarde is best the day it is made. I can’t attest to keeping it overnight because that’s never happened in our house.
For the record, Older son did fall asleep at the dinner table. He just put his head down next to his plate and zonked out. He’s growing up so quickly, but these little reminders of how young he still is make my heart burst with love.
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 3-4 medium plums, cut into 1/2 in wedges
- 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 c flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 c whole milk (2% also works)
- 2 tsp brandy
- 1 tsp vanilla
- powdered sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350F. Put your 9 in cast iron skillet in the oven as it's preheating.
In a large bowl, whisk sugar and eggs until combined.
Add flour and salt, whisk to combine.
Add milk, brandy, and vanilla, whisk until combined.
When oven is preheated, pull the skillet out and add butter. Swirl to melt, making sure it goes up the sides a bit.
Sprinkle brown sugar over the bottom of the pan, and arrange plums on top.
Gently pour the batter over the fruit and slide skillet into the oven. Bake for 45-55 min until just set and the edges are golden brown.
Let it cool for 10-15 min, then dust with powdered sugar and serve.
The flaugnarde is best eaten the day it is made.