Every morning on my way to work in the gorgeous neighbourhood of Marylebone, I walk past an old Lebanese greengrocer. By this time of the year, crates of peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums show their soft faces outside the store. Once I bought three yellow plums, I was a little suspicious I must confess of their quality. I explain why.
Every Summer, back in Portugal, my grandfather would go to his country farm and harvest the summer fruits. He would bring us red string bags full of yellow, honey-sweet, delicious plums. I remember how he used to part them with his fingers revealing the terracota coloured stone which he would remove before I could feast on the yellow, delicious flesh of the fruit. My grandmother would make jam, or a delicious tart with each year’s harvest.
I remember eating half a dozen plums, much to my grandmother’s delight who always favoured the consumption of vast amounts of fruit by my cousins or myself.
Yellow plums are to me the epitome of Summer, they evoke memories of my grandfather and picnics on the beach after hot afternoons playing in the sea. These plums were hard to beat. My fear quickly faded away when I tried these particular plums, as the firm sweet-yellow flesh quickly transported me to those Summer childhood days and to the sight of my grandfather’s tanned face.
275ml of full fat milk
80gr of caster sugar
80 gr of plain flour
1/2 coffee spoon of vanilla essence
4 ripe yellow plums
1/2 coffee spoon of orange blossom water
Pre-heat the oven at 190 ºC.
In a bowl, beat well the eggs with the sugar, add in the flour and the milk. Continue beating while folding in the vanilla essence and the orange blossom water. Set aside. Butter a oven proof dish and line it with parchment paper. Transfer in the egg mixture and place in the oven. De-stone the plums and cut them in segments of 4 pieces each.
When the clafoutis starts to rise, dunk on top, the pieces of plums. Let it bake till its golden and set. Remove from the oven, let it cool down. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm, cold, on its own or with a dollop of cream.