Bonjour de France! I am in Grenoble, France for two weeks to learn about interferometry at IRAM (a European interferometry observatory). I've been eating a lot (90% of which has been bread) and doing a lot of science. I won't talk about the science here because truly almost nobody cares about interferometry. And because I've been talking about science all day.
But food. That's another story. Grenoble is in the south of France, and while it's a reasonably large town, in some ways the culture here feels closer to that of rural France (which I've largely read about and gleaned from pop culture, rather than experienced) than to that of Paris. In part, that means that most of my meals have involved some glorious combination of potatoes, cream, cheese, bacon, and chicken. It's been a bit heavy, but to be honest, that's kind of my jam. Some days I've only eaten one real meal (either lunch or dinner), and then just some combination of pastries, bread, fruit, and yogurt for the other two meals. I've decided this is my ideal way of life (gratuitous pictures of said way of life below).
But I also come bearing a lovely fall recipe! I fully intended to get this out before plums were totally gone, but I suspect I may have failed. This would probably still be good with off-season plums, though, since they are cooked down until syrupy anyway. And it would be equally good with all apples. I've been daydreaming about this combination since shortly after last year's plum season (how many times am I going to say something like this? I'll probably have some great summer recipe ideas in about a week). It did not disappoint. I ate it as breakfast/dessert for dinner, but you really could have it for any meal or dessert (if you're going the dessert route - or if you're not - a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream would be parfait).
Plum & Apple Dutch Baby
Yield: 2 large meals or 4 small-ish dessert servings
Dutch baby recipe adapted from smitten kitchen
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup flour, sifted (let's be honest, I didn't sift)
2/3 cup milk
2 tbsp softened butter
Plum & Apple Filling:
1 tbsp butter
1 medium apple
1/2 lb plums (about 6 small)
2 tbsp honey
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon, plus more to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and butter two 9-inch cake pans or oven-safe skillets1.
- Place eggs in a blender or in a bowl with beaters and mix until pale yellow.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined (I had some small flecks of butter and everything turned out just fine).
- Divide evenly among prepared pans and bake 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until pancakes are gloriously puffed and light golden brown.
- While the pancakes bake, thinly slice the apple and plums. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, and add the apples once it is melted.
- Once the apples have just started to soften, add the plums. Cook until slightly syrupy, then add the honey, nutmeg, salt, and cinnamon. Continue cooking the fruit, stirring occasionally, until very soft and coated in a thick honey syrup.
- Remove pancakes to two plates and divide the filling evenly between them.
- I used an 8-inch skillet (because I don't have a 9-inch one), and my pancake puffed tremendously. I was a little worried about the batter overflowing before it cooked, but that was not a problem. It was awesome.