Before we enter the blog proper, I feel it is important to make a couple of excuses. Firstly, I’m sorry that there have been no new recipe posts in the past week or so, but what I shall call a ‘negative life event’ took place and I haven’t found the time. However, we shan’t go any further into that since I’m not, as you may know, much of a sharer – I simply don’t feel the need. Secondly, this was supposed to be a post regarding a certain rhubarb, strawberry and orange compote. Unfortunately, the fates took time to collude against any honourable intentions I may have held and the photographing of the intended dessert fell flat on its face. I’m extremely glad to be back and I hope to bring you news of my recipe for individual rhubarb and custard galettes as soon as possible.
Clafoutis is a baked French dessert made primarily from a sweet, rich custard. They usually contain pitted black cherries, though, as one can see, they are by no means integral to the recipe. This dessert was first brought to my attention last Wednesday when my girlfriend and I were strolling contentedly through Hampstead, in London. We popped into what turned out to be a surprisingly reasonably-priced coffee shop, in which there were free samples of this delicious dessert. Indeed, so delicious was it that we resolved immediately to attempt it as soon as the opportunity presented itself. At this point we had no idea that it would be so simple – it would un-boggle the mind of even the staunchest of inane buffoons.
In the past fortnight Britain has undergone rather frightening extremes of weather. Though the weather has been mostly fine, rain has also been a frequent fixture; Aberystwyth received a month’s worth of precipitation in a mere 24-hours. Indeed, this had the effect of swelling several rivers which consequently burst their banks, flooding at least three caravan parks, one of which actually had flood defences – isn’t a little irony fun? Camping can be enjoyable, in the right situation, but spending a little extra on proper accommodation can often prove to be a decision well made.
There isn’t an awful lot to say about this recipe, it does what it says on the tin. However, those of you concerned about the choice of flavour needn’t be worried – it works beautifully. Strawberries, when soaked in pimms, take on a rather delicious flavour which causes the tongue to tingle a little, an experience best likened to the act of indulging in a sherbet dip. Anyway, I have rambled on for quite long enough and am in danger of alienating those of you who don’t like to read more than 500 words in one sitting. Doing such a thing bores me to death if the writing is anything but exemplary. Please, enjoy this taste of the British summer!
Strawberry and Pimms Clafoutis
• 300g strawberries, halved
• 45ml pimms
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 150ml milk
• 150ml double cream
• 100g sugar
• 4 eggs
• 25g plain flour, sifted
• A little butter and sugar to line the dish
1. Put the strawberries in a bowl, along with 1 tbsp of sugar and 45 ml of pimms. Allow to soak for an hour.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, 100g of sugar and flour. Pour the milk and cream into a pan and heat gently until they reach boiling point. Whisk the creamy mixture into the egg and sieve into a bowl. Cover and set aside until the strawberries have finished soaking.
3. Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter a large, but shall oven dish and sprinkle with sugar. We used two smaller dishes. Spoon the strawberries, along with a little of the pimms, into the dish. Pour the custard over the strawberries and bake until golden brown but just set – between 40 and 50 minutes.
Cost: The British strawberry season appears to be in full swing as they have really come down in price. As such, this sumptuous dessert should set one back around £3.60 – less than £1 per person.