Do you have a foolproof, emergency, go to dessert that works every time? I think most people have one in their repertoire. Mine is the clafoutis. It is such a simple dessert, which basically consists of popping some custardy batter over a pile of fruit in a buttered baking dish.
This classic baked dessert is traditional in the Limousin region of France, made during the cherry season with lots of plump little black-ruby gems. If you were to ask baking purists, you would be told not to remove the stones from the cherries, as these release a bitter almond flavour during the cooking.
Not being a baking purist myself, I feel rather happy to throw any kind of fruit into the mix - but my all time favourite has to be this lovely mix of sugarplums, blueberries and figs. I don't feel as though I have strayed to far off course with this lovely mix of summer fruits, as the Limousin region of France is home to many varied orchards of plums, prunes, apples - not to mention the berries! However, to be technically correct when fruits other than the lovely Limousin cherry is used, the dessert is properly called a flaugnarde. But enough of the technical correctness.
To capture a little bit of the bitter almond spirit of the clafoutis, I also like to add a tiny splash of sweet, hazelnutty frangelico liqueur. I absolutely adore this little Italian number and it always seems to find a prominent spot in our bar during summer time. Nothing can't beat with some ice and a great big spritz of lime on a balmy summer evening while the cicadas are chirping away in the dusky light.
While the frangelico is a nice accompaniment to the sugarplum clafoutis, a lovely chilled glass of toasty french champagne is also a luxurious match. Along with the french bubbles, I also like to serve my clafoutis with some fresh summer berries like raspberries or blackberries, which have that nice little sour zingy note against the custard batter base. This summer, I have also discover Maggie Beer's divine Vanilla and Elderflower ice-cream. A big scoop alongside the clafoutis is just that final dash of summer to the plate, but you could use any type of ice cream you like, or skip it altogether.