We’ve had quite a weather change in the last week. Fall is becoming undeniable. As I type, my dog is cowering from the pouring rain, thunder and lightning. I don’t want to see the summer weather end, but fall is always an exciting time for me. My birthday is in the fall, school begins, it truly feels like a new cycle. I’m interested in beginning projects or recommiting to the things that fell by the wayside during summer. I don’t get the same feeling on January 1st. Nothing dramatic seems to shift between December 31st and the new year. Right now though, that brisk air, blowing down the leaves, brings with it possibility.
Another thing I love about the fall is the abundance of produce. People are literally giving it away, which is how I came across these plums which grow all over the place in Seattle. Honestly, I hadn’t given them much attention before. I’m so glad I did this year because they are sweet and the skins aren’t too thick or tangy, something I don’t enjoy about other plum varieties. I’ve been making this clafouti recipe from Eating Well magazine for years, though this is the first time I’ve used the Amaretto it calls for. It adds so much flavor, I won’t go back to omitting it. In addition, I plan to revisit my 20s by making Amaretto sours with the leftovers.
Italian Plum Clafouti
1 pound fresh Italian plums, cut in half and pitted
1/4 cup almond liqueur, such as Amaretto
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 pat butter
1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup sugar, divided
3 large eggs
1 cup milk (I used unsweetened soy)
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Powdered sugar for dusting
Combine plums, lemon juice and almond liqueur in a large bowl. Let stand 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch round baking dish with butter. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly over the bottom. Drain the plums, reserving the syrup. Arrange plums cut side down in the baking dish.
Use a whisk or handheld mixer to combine the eggs and 1/3 cup sugar until pale yellow. Add milk, flour, almond extract, salt, lemon zest, and the reserved syrup; beat well. Pour the batter over the plums, sprinkle with almonds and bake until puffed and golden, about 45 minutes. Let sit for 20 minutes, then dust with powdered sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.