December 11, 2010
Have yourself a Cherry little Christmas!
Today at our lovely farmers markets we were inundated with choices of cherries. Here in Canberra we are quite close to Young, the cherry growing capital of Australia, and so I guess we get first bite of the cherry when it comes to shopping. There were bright red ones, light red ones, yellowy ones, my favourite deep burgundy ones, graded ones in gift boxes, and seconds piled in mounds on tables. I got these absolute beauties at the incredible price of $5 a kilo! And they were very generous kilos I might add. I realised I should make the most of this season bounty as the recent rains and floods have wrecked havoc with local crops and this could be all we can get this year.
As always the hardest part of any cooking process is deciding what to cook.... So many delicious options.... In the end I chose Cherry Clafoutis, a classic French dessert that is a kind of hybrid tart or flan with a custard base. Obviously a perfect choice for gluten free cooking! MiddleC is an absolute fracophile after studying it for 6 years and so I am dedicating this recipe to her and her French email buddy who lives in Provence. I call her MiddleC's imaginary friend as their relationship is computer based and they aren't likely to meet in the near future, but the good thing about technology is that they are closer and are in contact more than many of her 'real' friends.
According to Wikkipedia, a traditional clafoutis is made with the cherries whole and unpitted as this intensifies the flavour. So, this is my official reason for doing so, not because I couldn't find my cherry/olive pitter at all. After all,who am I to mess with tradition?
I actually based this recipe on one I read in the local newspaper when they interviewed the wife of the French Ambassador. When I researched further, I decided that with it's lower sugar content it was a good choice for me and my insulin levels and hopefully my waistline,even though I did use cream- low fat of course!
100g gluten free flour
1/2 tsp gfree baking powder
6 small eggs
125 grm sugar
1 vanilla pod,seeds scraped
nice pinch of salt
25grm melted butter
250 grm lactose free cream - or dairy free milk equivalent
1. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl for about 5 minutes or until they have tripled in size.
2. Add in the sugar and vanilla seeds and beat for another 5 minutes.
3. Sift in the flour, salt and baking powder and fold in carefully so as not to knock out the fluffiness. * I use this great spoon with a hole in it for careful mixing. It works great for folding ingredients together gently, but I don't remember where it came from sorry.
4. Slowly add in the melted butter and cream, pouring it down the side of the dish, again so it keeps the air incorporated.
5. Place the cherries in the bottom of a greased dish- pitted or not, I will leave to your discretion. And carefully pour the batter mixture over.
6. Bake at 180* for about 45 mins, the clafoutis should be puffed slightly, set and browned around the edges.
7. Dust with icing sugar and serve still warm. With or without cream, again, I leave it to your discretion, but I know what I would do.
I realised my clafoutis was baked in a dish that was a bit too deep, next time I'll drop the temperature to about 160 and bake for a bit longer. Or I could just bake it in a shallower dish as I should have in the first place!
So dear Readers, what is your ultimate Christmas fruit?
P.S. The winner of the giveaway is.... drumroll please ...... Eagles 17, I couldn't find any details for you though, so please contact me ASAP so you get your goodies before Christmas.