Plum Clafoutis

125ml/4½fl oz milk
125ml/4½fl oz double cream
2-3 drops vanilla essence
4 free-range eggs
170g/6oz caster sugar
1 tbsp plain flour
30g/1oz butter
500g/1lb 2oz plums, cut in half, stones removed
2 tbsp brown sugar
30g/1oz flaked almonds (optional)
icing sugar, for dusting
double cream, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Pour the milk, cream and vanilla into a pan and boil for a minute.
Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
3. Tip the eggs and sugar into a bowl and beat together until light and
fluffy. Fold the flour into the mixture, a little at a time.
4. Pour the cooled milk and cream onto the egg and sugar mixture,
whisking lightly. Set aside.
5. Place a little butter into an ovenproof dish and heat in the oven until
foaming. Add the plums and brown sugar and bake for 5 minutes,
then pour the batter into the dish and scatter with flaked almonds, if
using.
6. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes, until golden-brown and set
but still light and soft inside.
7. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately with cream.

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