Wine-Soaked Prune Flaugnarde (Clafoutis)

By • October 5, 2011 • 29 Comments



Author Notes: If I had to name my favorite weeknight party dessert, it would have to be – in the fall and winter, at least – a flaugnarde (a clafoutis made with something other than cherries). This time of year, I usually make them with lightly caramelized apple or pear slices, which I prepare while letting the batter rest and the oven heat. What could be easier? I’ve been wanting for quite some time to make a dessert using prunes soaked in Semillon, after discovering Paula Wolfert’s recipe for prunes in Sauternes in her interesting, brilliantly informative “The Cooking of South-West France.” They’re heavenly. And the simple, rustic flaugnarde provides a perfect medium for showcasing them. I’ve used the basic flavor profile in Wolfert’s prune recipe, though I use a Columbia Valley Semillon, which somewhat resembles a Sauternes, instead. Once the prunes have soaked up most of the wine, I reduce the remaining syrup and add it to a one-step blender batter that takes about a minute to make. Just be sure to plan your other activities in the kitchen to give the batter a chance to rest before assembling the dish and popping it into the oven. It may soon become your favorite easy autumn dessert, as it has mine. Enjoy!! ;o)
AntoniaJames

Makes one 9" round flaugnarde

  • 6 ounces pitted prunes
  • 1 cup Semillon (or Sauternes, or a fruity white Bordeaux)
  • 1 ½ cup half and half
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon best-quality vanilla extract
  • Zest of one lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon + a dash for sprinkling on top
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup almond meal (See notes in steps 6 and 7, below, if you prefer to use flour instead.)
  1. At least 6 hours before making the flaugnarde, put the prunes and the wine in a small heavy saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside.
  2. When ready to make the flaugnarde, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Remove the prunes from the saucepan, pressing on them gently to release excess syrup back into the pan. Reduce the syrup over a low heat for about 2 or 3 minutes, or until there is only about 2 tablespoons left. Remove from the heat.
  4. Meanwhile, put the half and half, the eggs, vanilla, lemon zest and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon into a blender.
  5. Press the confectioners’ sugar through a mesh sieve to remove the lumps. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a small bowl.
  6. Add the remaining sugar and the syrup from the pan to the blender, as well as the almond meal. If you want to use flour instead of almond meal, don’t add it quite yet.
  7. Blend thoroughly for about a minute. If you are using flour, add it after blending, then blend just a few more seconds to incorporate it.
  8. Allow the batter to rest for about fifteen minutes.
  9. Prepare a 9 inch pie plate by buttering it generously. Put it on a large cookie sheet.
  10. Scatter the prunes in the pie plate.
  11. Once the batter has rested, pour it over the prunes in the pie plate.
  12. Put the pie plate -- still on the cookie sheet -- in the middle of the oven and cook for 40 - 45 minutes. Check after 20-25 minutes. If it is darkening too much around the edges, frame it with foil as you would a pie crust to keep it from browning further. (If it hasn’t browned too much, check again after about 35 minutes total.)
  13. It will puff up slightly when done. It should generally seem firm, though the center may be ever so slightly soft.
  14. Add a good dash of cinnamon to the reserved confectioners’ sugar and stir to combine.
  15. Once the flaugnarde has been out of the oven for about 5 minutes, shake the sugar and cinnamon through a fine sieve all over the flaugnarde.
  16. Allow it to sit for a few minutes more before serving.
  17. Enjoy!! ;o)
  18. N.B. The blender method and ratios for the batter are based somewhat on the pear flaugnarde recipe in Russ Parsons' terrific, "How to Pick a Peach." ;o)

Tags: Fruit dessert, gluten-free, gluten-free if made with almond meal, nut-free, nut-free if made with flour, rustic, southwest France

Comments (29) Questions (1)

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

This made for a lovely and elegant Thanksgiving dessert! The wine soaked prunes are delicious, suspended in the soft custard. I love that it comes together easily (in a blender, no less!) - I made the batter just before everyone sat down to eat and then popped it into the oven. I will definitely be making this again and again.

Cakes

almost 3 years ago Bevi

Oh My AntoniaJames.

I made the clafoutis this morning, and just treated myself to a slice for lunch. The texture is perfect - not quite flan-like, smooth yet firm, and without the sweetness of a custard. I cooked my prunes in a red wine and sugar syrup, so my guess is that the prunes I stewed have a slightly sweeter taste. I used flour, but I do want to try this with almond meal once i get my hands on some. This is absolutely gorgeous, and I am making this for Thanksgiving. It will be a rave!

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, Bevi! I'm honored that you'd even consider serving it at Thanksgiving. The red wine sub sounds so luscious. I'll have to try it! I have a variation on this that I'll be posting, I hope, this weekend. ;o)

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I love that book also, AntoniaJames. It was given to me several years ago as a bday gift, and I return to it again and again and find a treasure every time. This is lovely. I have some prunes at work, some leftover wine, and some students who would benefit from learning the simple joys of a clafoutis. Thank you.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

AJ, I have that pesky nut allergy. What is the replacement amount of flour for almond meal?

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

A one for one substitution should work fine. Parsons' recipe calls for 3 eggs, 3/4 cup whole milk, 3/4 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup flour. I think I did a foodsubs search (or whatever that dandy site is) and read 1 for 1 is right for almond v. AP flour for most baking. The clafoutis is one of the all-time great desserts. I love how flexible they are in how much sweetener to add. Though wonderfully handy, fruits soaked in wine or brandy or liqueur tend to be so sweet. I like the plainer, barely sweet canvas, and the nearly limitless variations possible with a clafoutis. And mixing for one minute in a blender!! Have fun. ;o)

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh yes, I greatly prefer the less sweet canvas as well. I think that is why I'm so drawn to clafoutis. It's one of those neither fish nor fowl dishes. It isn't a cake, nor is it a custard, but rather halfway between the two. I'm so easily drawn to prunes. My mother told a story of how her mother, during the Depression, in an effort to put something on the table for breakfast, would pour warm cream straight from their own cows over prunes. I have the cut glass pitcher from which that very cream was poured. Fast-forward many years, and we found the very same combination on the dessert menu upstairs in the café at Chez Panisse. Thank you so much. We'll be making this next week.

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almost 3 years ago gingerroot

This is gorgeous, AJ, and sounds delicious. I love that it is gluten free to boot.

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks so much, gingerroot! I wanted to find an easy dessert that was also gluten free, and this definitely qualifies. I'll be posting some variations as soon as I can get out to do some grocery shopping. (Clients are crazy busy, which means I've been, too.) ;o)

Newliztoqueicon-2

almost 3 years ago Lizthechef

Gingerbread or clafoutis? Clafoutis or gingerbread? They both look pretty spectacular.

Newliztoqueicon-2

almost 3 years ago Lizthechef

ps I found almond meal today at Trader Joe's - new item.

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks, LTC, for the kind words, and for the tip! ;o)

Buddhacat

almost 3 years ago SKK

Baking is not one of my strengths and I usually turn it over to others. This recipe intrigues me and I have the ingredients here without a trip to the store! Now that is a true sign this is a recipe meant to be tried soon!

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

SKK, this is incredibly simple. I hope you do try it!! ;o)

036

almost 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Another must try! LOVE the use of almond meal instead of flour, as well as our friend the prune soaked in wine!!!

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks, aargersi! I picked up some almond meal at the Indian grocery store a few weeks ago, without any particular project in mind. I've been meaning to experiment with making some of my favorite dinner party desserts gluten free, so this seemed like a great place to start. It works! It actually gives the clafouti the barest suggestion of almond. ;o)

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This looks wonderful, love clafoutis also. Very nice touch with the prunes.

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, sdebrango! I have some variations in the works . . . .;o)

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almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I would like to take your boozy prunes and make a loaf. This is beautiful!

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I wonder though if the lightness of the wine might be lost in a quick bread. Maybe I'd save the reduced syrup and put that in a glaze on top. . ;o)

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I think you are right about the lightness of the wine, I really love prunes and thought they would be good in a quick bread maybe just poached. I will probably just stick to the clafoutis it sounds so good

Mac_and_jac_123109

almost 3 years ago AntoninDevourChoc

Thank you, sdebrango. I hope you do try it. ;o)

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Ooops. My laptop autofilled my log-in with the very similar ID of my son, who joined using this computer when we were on vacation. That last comment was from me. So sorry about that. ;o)

Cakes

almost 3 years ago Bevi

I have a poached prune recipe that uses Chianti and sugar, and this looks like the ideal vehicle to use for using it!

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, my, that sounds really good -- Chianti + prunes. Let me know, please, if you try it in this. ;o)

Lobster_001

almost 3 years ago nannydeb

Sounds delicious! I can't wait to try it.

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks, nannydeb! I hope you do. ;o)

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almost 3 years ago creamtea

Does this ever look good!!

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much, creamtea. ;o)