When my kids were little, I always made special food for Hallowe'en, whether it was blue mashed potatoes and green chicken or hot dogs baked in French rolls with bacon and cheddar, orange pumpkin bars for dessert. But kids grow up, and as the troops of midgets ringing my urban doorbell grew fewer and further between, I turned to grown-up parties with spicy sweet-potato soup. Hallowe'en comes in the narrow window when apples and plums are both in season, so I always make fall-window flan. This recipe owes its origin to French clafouti as interpreted by Julia Child as gratin de pommes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking,Volume Two. I've reduced the butter and flour combined the fruits and added flavorings. —magdance
medium apples, peeled and sliced
prune plums, pitted and quartered
butter (plus some for greasing pan)
rum, brandy or cointreau
In This Recipe
Sauté apples in butter in a 12" frying pan until partially soft and browning. Sprinkle with 2 T. sugar and watch heat carefully so sugar caramelizes without burning. Turn off heat.
Put apples in a ring near the edges of a greased gratin or quiche pan, 9" or larger. Leave the center empty.
Deglaze the pan with 2 T. liquor, liqueur or fruit juice, and pour remaining liquid over the apples.
Cook plums in the same frying pan with another 2 T.sugar until the juices are released and thickened, about 5 minutes.
Mound plums in the center of gratin dish.
Beat eggs in a bowl with 2 T. sugar, add flour, cream, and vanilla. Pour custard over and around fruits. Bake 45 minutes at 360 degrees or until puffed and brown. Let cool a little and serve, or serve cold.