Clafouti has become one of my favorite desserts recently. I can play with the fruit and the background extract flavorings I use, and more importantly, it hasn't failed me yet.
In February I made a Cherry Clafouti using Barefoot Contessa's recipe, but made some variations. During the summer months in Georgia we have an abundance of local peaches. I love using fresh peaches in homemade ice cream, in my oatmeal, and in my smoothies, but my new favorite way to use them is in Peach Clafouti. The first time I made the recipe I claimed that it was the most delicious non-chocolate dessert ever prepared in my kitchen. I challenge you to try it and let me know your thoughts.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter a 10 X 3 X 1 1/2-inch round baking dish (I use my quiche dish.) and sprinkle the bottom and sides with 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Beat the eggs and the 1⁄3 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the flour, cream, almond extract, and salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel, pit, and slice the peaches. Arrange the slices in a single layer, fanned out, in the baking dish. Pour the batter over the peaches and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is firm, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with confectioners' sugar. Enjoy!
"The world really has two different meanings for the word fruit. There is the use of the word when you go to the grocery store, and then there's the use of the word by a botanist.
In the grocery store, we generally understand a fruit to be a natural plant product that is sweet, and a vegetable to be a natural plant product that is not sweet. In this standard definition, apples, strawberries, grapes and bananas are all fruits, while green beans, tomatoes, squash and potatoes are all vegetables.
Technically, however, this layman's definition is a bit off. The Encyclopedia Britannica sums it up like this:
Fruit - in its strict botanical sense, the fleshy or dry ripened ovary of a plant, enclosing the seed or seeds. Thus, apricots, bananas, and grapes, as well as bean pods, corn grains, tomatoes, cucumbers, and (in their shells) acorns and almonds, are all technically fruits.
This definition of fruit is very broad, and encompasses almost everything that contains seeds.
Vegetables, then, are everything that's left. This includes:
Root crops like potatoes, carrots and turnips
Bulbs like onions and garlic
Stems like asparagus
Leaves like lettuce and cabbage
Flowers like broccoli and cauliflower
In other words, things that do not contain seeds are vegetables, in the technical sense. Everything else is a fruit."
So with the summer tomato FRUIT we have enjoyed recipes like Tomato Bruschetta.
Have you ever had pear on your pizza before? I hadn't until I tried zpizza's Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza on their rustica pizza menu. It was so wonderful that I gave it a try myself at home. (This one's for you Megan.)
Here are the ingredients I use:
pizza dough, 2 Bosc pears, caramelized red onion, Gorgonzola crumbles, Fontal Italian (fontina) cheese, shredded mozzarella, and fresh thyme
I begin by precooking my pizza dough about 10 minutes (but not completely done), so it will be crisp in the center. While it is baking I slice 1/8 of a red onion and saute it until it becomes caramelized. Then I slice my pears. After pulling the pizza dough from the oven I begin arranging the pear slices around the dough in a circle. Then I scatter the onion over the pears. Next, I put the Gorgonzola crumbles on--be advised that Gorgonzola is VERY strong and can be VERY overpowering. A little goes a long way, I recommend not using more than 3-4 tablespoons. After the Gorgonzola cheese is on, I shred the Fontal Italian cheese generously all over the pizza. The fontina cheese is very creamy and helps make the gorgonzola milder. Before placing back in the oven I shred a small amount of mozzarella over the pizza. Then, I place the pizza in the oven until the fontina and mozzarella are melted and the sides of the crust are golden-brown. After pulling the pizza out of the oven and right before serving, I sprinkle generously with fresh thyme. Yummy!
I am a huge melon fan. Michael not so much, except for watermelon. Joshua is liking them all so far. Isaac loves watermelon only. And Olivia just doesn't like melons.
Because I love buying melons (primarily for myself) and often not being able to finish them before they ruin, I have started making them into popsicles. Like the Watermelon Popsicles I created last year, I concocted cantaloupe popsicles this year. I pretty much prepare them the same way.
Deseed the cantaloupe and place cubed cantaloupe chunks in the blender. Puree until smooth.After pureeing, strain through a coarse sieve set over a bowl to remove all the pulp (will need to stir to allow all juice to drain).Next add simple syrup (equal amounts of sugar and water) to sweeten.All cantaloupes have different levels of sweetness, so you’ll have to taste the mixture as you go.You could also use other sweeteners like stevia.After reaching the desired sweetness, pour the cantaloupe mixture into popsicle molds and freeze. After hardened, remove popsicle and eat to be refreshed on a hot summer day.
One of my favorite things about summer is the fresh fruits that are in abundance. Blueberries, peaches, apricots, plums, raspberries, pears, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, cherries, mangoes, papayas, strawberries, figs, and tomatoes (Is it really a fruit?) are among my favorites.
When the fruits start arriving each summer, I begin to be giddy and incorporate them into each meal making sweet and savory recipes. This year I have created a few new summer fruit recipes and thought I'd share.
It's both sad and exciting to say that our house is FOR SALE.
We definitely feel that we are going where God is leading us and we are happy to be following Him, but we are also sad to be leaving our friends in Georgia and the conveniences of the city. We are very excited about getting reacquainted with old friends, going to a town with less traffic, and exploring a very familiar area for Michael and I that we have never gotten to share with our children.
We're going home to Mississippi. Michael accepted a job back in the state that we both were born and raised in. Now, we will get to share "our roots" with our children.
Please remember us in your prayers as we sell our house, search for a new house, buy a new house, and travel back and forth from Georgia to Mississippi.
Saturday night our family enjoyed our Annual Outdoor Movie Night. Remember last year and the year before that? It's safe to say now that we have now created a family tradition. This year was just as enjoyable as the last two. When we first began the movie it was a comfortable 76 degrees and within an hour it dropped 5 more degrees and fell down to 65 degrees by the time we made our way inside. The movie "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" was the feature presentation on the tube.
We all really enjoyed munching on popcorn the first half of the movie and then toasting marshmallows over our leftover coals from dinner to make s'mores during the second half.
Olivia and Isaac thoroughly enjoyed the special "family time" that was made just for them. They both liked the movie and have been thinking of items they would like to have fall from the sky to eat since seeing it.
I love the "outdoor" setting and enjoying the occasional cool breeze created only outside, the sighting of stars and the moon only found outside, and the chirping of crickets heard best outside. I just can't create the same background scene as God can and so I now look forward with anticipation to this time of year as much as my kids do. I highly recommend moving your movie night outside, and so do Olivia and Isaac.