Plum Flaugnarde
4 to 6 servings
Adapted from The French Menu Cookbook by Richard OlneyIf you want to leave the kirsch out, I’ve offered a few substitutions. If you want to make it without the alcohol, add a dash of pure almond extract along with the vanilla extract. For those on gluten-free diets, although I haven’t tried it, it’s likely one of the gluten-free flour mixes would work well for this.This is usually made with whole milk but I like the touch of richness that heavy cream provides, which also makes the texture a little silkier. But you can use 1 cup (250ml) of whole milk in the place of the 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup of heavy cream.Feel free swap out other fruits or berries for the plums, such as blackberries, raspberries, cherries, apricots, nectarines, or a mix of fruit and berries. I’d avoid using anything too juicy, like peaches. Pears are classic, and in his book, Richard Olney uses prunes (which he says, with classic Olney panache, should be “of the year’s production, if possible”) and raisins soaked in Cognac.
12 ounces (350g) plums, pitted and thickly sliced
3 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup (70g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50g) sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for sprinkling over the finished dessert
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
pinch of salt
3/4 cup (180ml) whole milk. (or 1 cup/250ml whole milk)
1 1/2 tablespoons kirsch, or another eau-de-vie, Cognac, brandy, or dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Generously butter a 6 to 8 cup (1,75l) baking or gratin dish, or a large pie plate. (I like to use one that’s narrower, but deeper.) Strew the plums over the bottom of the baking vessel.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, flour, 1/4 cup sugar, heavy cream, salt, and about a third of the milk, until there are no lumps in the mixture. Whisk in the rest of the milk, the kirsch, and vanilla extract.
3. Pour the custard over the plums in the baking dish. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until the custard is just barely set in the center, about 20 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack. Wait a minute, then sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar over the top.

Serving: The flaugnarde is best served warm or at room temperature, the day it’s made. It can be served cold, although Olney says it’s “less good.”