I’m bit (ok, a lot) of an anglophile. Like the characters I read about in books as a kid, I wanted to go foraging for berries and other things not available in Australia.
I adored my first spring in the UK because it’s just not the same in Australia where native plants are harsh and hardy. Here the flowers that pop up (everywhere!) are soft and pretty, and it’s just such a different atmosphere. Plus, when you’re out and about, there are cultivated beauties everywhere. That softness, those vibrant colours. What’s not to love? Unless you get hayfever obviously.
I hope that gives you some context as to why I was so obsessed with foraging. Sure, you can forage in Australia, it’s just not the same types of things. Certainly not berries and cherry plums. Sadly, I was a bit behind the eight ball and missed out on elderflowers (I won’t make that mistake next year), but I didn’t miss out on elderberries – they’re sitting in my freezer until I decide what to do with them though!
There’s a tree near my flat that was full of small yellow fruits. As someone obsessed with foraging, I was sure they were edible. I picked a few and then sent the photo to a few people online for someone to tell me I could pick and eat them. The response was ‘yes’. What I had were mirabelles or cherry plums.
I asked Bello Wildfood on Twitter what I should do with them and he suggested a clafoutis because that’s what he often makes. So a clafoutis I did!
Clafoutis is one of my favourite desserts and I use a recipe that comes from the Larousse Gastronomique. It was the book Dad always had it in his cupboard and I used to pore over the pages as a kid wondering what I could make.
It’s a super simple recipe and results in a yummy dessert you can have warm or cold (I prefer the latter).
So here’s the recipe in English…
- 500 grams black cherries (which can be subsituted with mirabelles or sugar plums or apricot etc.)
- 4 eggs
- 125 grams caster sugar
- 80 grams flour
- 80 grams butter
- 250 mlsmilk
- Some vanillan sugar for the top
- Pre-heat the oven to 210 degrees C.
- Butter/grease a porcelain dish and arrange the fruit evening in it.
- Carefully wash your fruit (don’t remove the pits).
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, add a pinch of salt and the caster sugar. Mix well.
- Sift the flour and add it to egg mixture.
- Melt 60 grams of the butter and let it cool before adding it to your egg, sugar and flour.
- Add the milk and mix.
- Pour the mixture over the fruit in the dish and with the leftover 20 grams of butter, break it up and sprinkle it on the top.
- Bake in the oven until the top begins to brown. It will still be a little wobbly when done, but if you prefer to eat it cold like me, leave it cook a bit longer.
- Once it’s out of the oven, sprinkle the vanillan sugar over the top.
- Either eat it straight away with cream or ice cream OR let it cool and eat it on it’s own.
Much like a science experiment in high school, I wanted to share the results. While the small plums looked like cherries, they don’t have they broke down a lot more than cherries or sugar plums I’ve used previously. The result of this little experiment was good though in terms of taste – a custard with pockets of tart fruit, but it was a little soggy. I’ll pick some next year and see if I can come up with a different dessert.
By the way, if you enjoy clafoutis, try Far Breton.