January 4, 2011

HOLIDAY COOKING

During 2010 I wrote about Susan’s very easy clafoutis recipe. I have made it many times using the original cherries and also plums and apricots.

At the time fellow blogger Mad left a comment saying she had made clafoutis using prunes soaked in brandy.

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That sounded like an awfully good idea so when we were chez nous after Christmas I decided to have a go. I bought some beautiful Agen prunes from the Spa shop in Le Grand-Pressigny and fished the half bottle of brandy from the back of the kitchen cupboard.

Stoning the prunes proved to be a fiddly, sticky and messy job. At first the stones I removed had most of the flesh of the prunes still attached to them and a lot of the rest of it was all over my hands and stuck to my sleeves. After a bit of practice I found a technique that succeeded in removing the stone and leaving most of the precious prunes intact. Agen prunes are quite expensive so not to be wasted if possible.

The technique is to hold the prune with its flatter sides between finger and thumb then cut into it with a sharp knife down to the stone, run the knife all around the edge of the stone then flip the prune open and if you’re very lucky the stone comes out clean (ish).

I then soaked them in about two tablespoons of brandy for a couple of hours.

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I made the batter using Susan’s recipe but then used one large dish instead of a number of ramekins. I put the fruit in the dish, poured the batter over and sprinkled a few sliced almonds on top, just because I spotted them in the cupboard too.

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I baked it for 40 minutes and it turned out looking rather good. I served it warm with some single cream. It tasted lovely, even though I say so myself, but the credit must go to my blog friend Mad for the idea.

We had the left-overs a couple of days later, cut into bite-sized pieces and served cold with apéros. They were just as good then. Definitely a recipe idea to keep. Thanks, Mad !!

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for the reminder I was looking at my frozen cherries and wondering what I could make for a change. I had forgotton about clafoutis. Diane

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  2. That looks somewhat like a Breton recipe... we've some "prines in pawt" [read it outloud like you see it onscreen... the method came from the Times]... I'll suggest to Pauline she tries it with that... if it fails we'll have to try again with some of the Morello cherries in brandy.
    Hope you had a good break.
    Bonne Année et Bon Santé.

    WV is "Extori"... a deposed member of the House?

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  3. And it was amazingly good! :)

    And my word verification is: dishi. Now how about that?

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  4. I am one day in to my post Christmas and New Year diet, and you have already tempted me to break it!
    Sounds and looks delicious...

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  5. Yum. You're a much more thorough chef than I am. I just lob the prunes in whole and leave a health warning and the phone number for the dentist!
    Happy New Year.
    Mad x

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  6. Looks absolutely delicious, Jean.
    I notice that I've missed a few of your posts. I love the shots of the buildings in Chinon though It's such a shame that they are left to rot.

    Did anyone sit outside at those tables?

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  7. Diane - I wish I had some cherries in my freezer !

    Ken - thanks !

    Tim - I bet it's good with prunes in port. It's such a good and easy winter pud that I'm surprised we don't see it more in the UK.

    Walt - thanks !

    Gaynor - the familiar battle. I'm struggling to find the will to do it this year - losing my "winter coat", that is.

    Mad - I was tempted, but we had guests and I would have felt so guilty.....

    Ken - I always find it strange that so many buildings are in such bad repair in a town that is becoming more chic with every year.
    To answer your question - the tables would be filled with diners any lunch time between April and October but in the middle of winter they're all sensibly indoors.

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