Pluot Flaugnarde

This French dessert is somewhere between a cake and a baked custard, and is a very tasty, affordable way to use up your ripe fruit. The quantity of fruit used is quite flexible and can be adapted according to how much you have available and the size of the baking dish used. I often bake flaugnardes with pears, stone fruit, apples, or berries. A black cherry flaugnarde, made with the pips left in, is called a clafoutis and is one of the most delicious variations of this dessert, although in my opinion the pluot version gives it a run for its money. *Pluots are a cross between a plum and an apricot and bake to a very pretty pinky-mauve colour. This dessert is as at home at a dinner party as it is in a mid-week family dinner as it presents beautifully.
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
 
450mL milk or soymilk
3 tblsp flour (self-raising is fine, and you don’t have to use wheat flour)
3 eggs
½ fresh nutmeg, grated, or ½ tsp powdered nutmeg (fresh has a sweeter, more rounded flavour)
3 tblsp raw sugar
50g butter
3 large pluot or, quartered, or other large chunks of fruit or berries
(1 tblsp raw sugar and ½ tsp nutmeg to sprinkle on top after baking)
Pluot Flaugnarde
 

 

Method
Use some of the butter to grease a large, shallow ovenproof dish and preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced). Chop the remaining butter into 1cm chunks and set aside. Evenly distribute the fruit, cut side up, across the bottom of the baking dish in whatever pattern strikes your fancy. Don’t go to too much trouble if you’re using berries because they will probably float in the batter anyway!
 
Heat the milk to lukewarm. While the milk is heating, whisk together the flour, eggs, nutmeg and sugar. Gradually whisk the milk into the egg mixture.
 
Pour this batter into the baking dish around the fruit. If you want to avoid shifting the fruit as you pour the batter in, pour it over the back of a spoon to make the flow gentler. (Or just go for it and poke the fruit around afterwards).
 
Dot the top with the chopped butter and bake for about half an hour or until set and golden on top. While still hot, sprinkle with the extra sugar and nutmeg.
 
Serve warm on its own or with fresh cream or vanilla icecream.
 
*Recipe by Elise Ruthenbeck