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Claf goes plus good

Man, clafoutis, am I right? Yes. The answer is yes. Clafoutis, in case you just walked in and are too dumb to do the Google, is a French dish where you take raw, sherry-drizzled cherries and pour a thickened custard-type batter over the top, then bake until the custard cooks. Top with toasted slivered almonds and Robert’s your father’s brother.

Now, I hear or imagine you asking, what if you’re the sort of poor unfortunate who is sans cherries? Or, as the French say, sans cerises? Say, for example, the cherry season has ended with its usual suddenness. Now making Clafoutis is no longer a clever way of indulging in the abundance of cherries you’ve got cluttering up the fridge, it’s a million-dollar luxury (note: cherries now cost a million dollars). So what do you do, what DO you DO?

Why, those aren't cherries!

Don’t pop your monocle, bro: that up there is the start of a Flognarde. (Current crowd favourite for best word EVAH 2012.) A Flognarde is a Clafoutis made with anything other than cherries.

Delicious close up of non-cherries. And also some cherries.

Word got out among the bird community that the cherries were ripe: I picked a kilo bag, and then five days later went back and only got nine cherries. Nine. Those birds work fast when they want something. So I pitted my nine last cherries and then moved on to the next abundant fruit in my fruitiverse: the plums. Last year was our first summer in the house, and I was delighted, nay, ecstatic, to discover half a dozen plum trees: greengages, red plums, mirabelles (I think), and a mysterious mini-plum. This year I knew where to stand when the plums started to fall. The mirabelles — yellow skin and flesh clingstones — are particularly abundant, so into the bowl they went, chopped and pitted. I sprinkled the lot with sugar and sherry and let it stand while I had lunch, then poured the custard batter over it: 3 eggs, 60g flour, 60g sugar, dash of vanilla essence, teaspoon of baking powder, and ½ cup of soy milk. Mix it all up and pour over the fruit. Sprinkle some chopped toasted almonds over the top and bake for around an hour:

Pronounced: flog-NAARRRRD

And there’s your Flognarde! If you use moo milk instead of soy milk, use more: I used less because soy milk thickens differently and more slowly. The original recipe, from Athena Plichta‘s blog, uses 300ml of moo milk. I found using that much soy milk made it damn near impossible to set — soy milk lacks the slight fat content of moo milk, which contributes to the setting process as it cooks.

Soy or moo: dude, it’s goooood.

Somewhat squished from enthusiasm, but good.

It’s not a Clafoutis, so don’t expect it to taste like one. It’s a Flognarde, baby! It doesn’t have to meet your Clafoutis expectations! It’s busy being fantastic ALL BY ITSELF. I think this would be Flognarde Aux Prunes (Avec Cerises), but now we’re just being fancy. Perhaps too fancy for our own good.

You could do Flognarde with lots of fruits: any kind of berry would be fantastic; tropical fruits like mango might be a little weird; apple might be a little boring but okay. I think this would work really, really well with apricots: oh man, yes, that would be terrific. I’m dribbling a little just thinking about it. (I also dribble when I’m not thinking at all, so it can be hard to tell. Don’t feel bad.)

Need something tasty? Why not FLOGNARDE?

This gets a million thumbs up. Or it will soon: please send your thumbs to Million Thumbs Up Campaign, GPO Box 230000, Spoonfullyville.

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