A tart was my first thought. So, I went on and started to read Julia Child and research a bit on what I could do with the plums. And I adventured myself (I’m more of a salty cook than sweet), and went on into complicating myself more and more… because from a tart, I changed into plum compote, crème pâtissèrie and ended up with a crêpe gâteau with plum-crême pâtisserie and almonds. Flambeed on the top with sugar and orange juice. I must say, it was sooo much worth it. Amazingly french, amazingly tasty. Now it is my duty to tell you how to make it.
1. We start with the Plum ‘Cardinal’ (Compote of fresh plums)
Curious fact: plums are really good season fruits because they mature very slowly once they are taken out of the tree, and when they start to mature they generate a lot of taste and aroma. So, before thinking they are not good because they’ve been for a while in your kitchen, you must know they are really tasty and ready for you to make an amazing dessert with them.
- 6 cups of water
- 2 1/4 cups of sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla essence
- 10-15 plums
- Put the water, sugar and vanilla in a skillet and simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
- Meanwhile, cut the plumbs in half and take out the seed.
- Add to the simmering syrup.
- Keep it at just below the simmer for 6-8 minutes.
- Take out of the heat and let them cool in the syrup for about 20 minutes.
- Drain plums on a rack and save the syrup.
- Peel while still warm.
- With the remaining syrup we will make a thick sauce. Take to medium heat and let evaporate until the consistency is somewhat like a marmalade. About 1 hour. Save, with this we will serve the dessert.
Just to let you know, If you eat them like this with some ice-cream they are amazing!
2. Now, let’s get ready for the Crème Pâtissière
- 1 cup of sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup of flour
- 2 cups of boiling milk
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- Mix gradually the sugar with the egg yolks and beat for about 2-3 minutes until the mixture is pale yellow and forms the ribbon. This prepares the egg yolks so that they can be heated without turning granular. You can see when it reaches this ribbon state when you lift a bit in the beater and it will fall back into the bowl forming a slowly dissolving ribbon on the surface of the mixture.
- Beat in the flour.
- Beating the yolk mixture, gradually pour on the boiling milk in a thin stream of droplets.
- Pour into saucepan and take to a moderately high heat.
- Stir with wire wheap, reaching all over the bottom of the pan to avoid burning.
- As the sauce comes to the boil it will get lumpy, but will smooth out as you beat it.
- Once it starts boiling, keep on stirring for about 2-3 more minutes to cook the flour.
- Remove from the heat and beat in the butter. If you are not going to use it immediately, clean it off the sides of the pan, and dot top with softened butter to prevent a skin from forming over the surface.It will keep for a week under refrigeration and may be frozen.
- Add the plums to the crême.
3. Now it’s time for the pastry of the crêpes soufflées, and after it has been kept in the fridge we proceed to making the crêpes!! This recipe gives 10-12 crêpes.
Important: This pastry needs a 2 hour rest in the fridge. Ideally it’s better to make it first for the Crêpe Gâteau.
- 3/4 cup of fresh milk
- 3/4 cup of cold water
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 3 tablespoons cointreau or brandy
- 1 cup of sieved flour
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
After the two hour rest we will need also:
- 3 egg whites
And for the final assembly we will also need:
- Sliced almonds
- 1 orange
- Place the ingredients in the blender jar in the order in which they are listed.
- Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute.
- If bits of flour adhere to sides of jar, dislodge with a rubber scrapes and blend three more seconds.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- After the batter has rested for 2 hours, and just before you wish to make the crêpes, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff.
- Fold half into the batter, fold in the other half, then make the crêpes adding a little butter for each.
Assembly the gâteau:
- Center a crêpe on the bottom of a dish.
- Spread a layer of crème pâtissèrie on top and the sliced almonds.
- Continue with layers of crêpe, crème and almonds, ending with a crêpe.
- This will look like a many-layered cake.
- Sprinkle almonds on to the last crêpe. I used a mold so that they will get altogether afterwards.
- Take to the fridge.
- Before serving, take out of the fridge (about half an hour).
- Sprinkle sugar and a bit of orange juice.
- Flambée and form a layer of caramel. You can also add cointreau or brandy and serve once the flaming liquor subsides.
- Serve with the plum syrup made previously and slices of orange.