Plum Clafoutis

Last summer, my best friend and I found ourselves stomping around NYC. We were lucky enough to find a floor to sleep on which was right around the corner from the Sweet Melissa Patisserie. Oh, the scones! Everything that we ate there was delicious (and beautiful.) Luckily, for those of us far away from Brooklyn, Melissa Murphy has written a book. If you have a baker in your life, and you’re looking for an obscure book to give as a gift, try this one. Every recipe that I have made from it, and I am indeed working my way through the chapters, from ‘Dessert for Breakfast’ to ‘Sunday Supper’s Grand Finale,’ has been easy to put together and decadent.

Plums abound here. We had beautiful, full bags yesterday at the ferry farm stand and I know many farmers, including Dropstone Farms, are selling them down at the Saturday farmers’ market. Our tree produced a lot this year and I made this dessert, adapted from the Sweet Melissa book, with the last of them. It’s one of those desserts that you can make on a whim. It takes only a few minutes to put together. You can serve it warm or cold, and it tastes very different, depending on your choice.

Plum Clafoutis

3 tbls. butterplum clafoutis
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
about 10 small plums, cut into eighths (or as many will fill the bottom of your skillet)

6 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. AP
3/4 c. cream
3/4 c. whole milk
1/2 tsp. almond extract

3 tbls. sliced almonds
confectioners’ sugar (optional for finishing)

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Melt butter. Whisk in the sugar and cinnamon and cook for about a minute. Add plums and cook until the skins begin to loosen, about 4 minutes.
  3. In  a large measuring cup, whisk eggs, sugar, AP, cream, milk and extract.
  4. Remove the plums from the heat. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, beginning from the outer edge and pouring into the center. Stir gently. (You should have some lovely purple swirls.)
  5. Sprinkle almonds around the outside edge.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.

Kitchen Scraps

  • We went to hear Ruth Reichel, of Gourmet fame, talk about her newest book at Elliot Bay last night. While she talked more about women’s issues than food, she was still fascinating. And?? They’re serving Hot Lips Soda in the cafe. Whoa.
  • The Seattle Cheese Festival is happening at Pike Place Market this weekend. I heard this interesting piece about burrata cheese on the radio this morning. How caEdible Schoolyardn you not be intrigued by a cheese that is a fresh mozzarella stuffed with reduced cream? Mmmmmmmm.
  • A big thank you to my favorite, glorious librarian who found this book for me: Edible Schoolyard. Written by none other than Montessori teacher turned chef, Alice Waters, it was inspirational and beautiful. If you’re someone who believes in the power of food and the empowerment of kids, you’ve just got to read through it.

Book Review: A Homemade Life

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a fan of food blogs. Have you come across Orangette? If not, go now. Go get lost in the recipe list. Wallow around amongst the stories and anecdotes about food and life. Or just admire the beautiful photographs.

A Homemade LifeNow that you’re done enjoying her blog, it’s time to read Molly Wizenberg’s new book, A Homemade Life.   I read this fascinating memoir about family and food in one sitting on a rainy Saturday. With each chapter, she treats you to an interesting vignette followed by a recipe. When you get to the recipe, you understand not only the food, but the people behind the food. This book inspires you to get up and cook, but it also makes you think about your own food heritage. Where did the recipes in your family come from? Where were you the first time you cooked something? What do you make when you want to tell someone that you care about them? This engaging read will make you want to eat, cook, and call your family. While I missed the photographs that usually bejewel the blog, the description and humor made the book a stand-alone hit.

Although Orangette and A Homemade Life don’t focus on local eating, they both go a long way towards getting people back in the kitchen. The author lives in Seattle and you can tell she draws inspiration from the ingredients and places around her.

Molly Wizenberg will be appearing this Friday in Seattle at Third Place Books. Read more about it here.