Many years back, when the days seemed so long and the summers so light, we had once again taken the 1000 km road from the Austrian alps to the northern lands of Picardi in France. We passed the “empty” industrial lands and eternal straight roads of the Germans, entering the borders of the lands of Alsace, the battle front of the last wars. Our small turquoise “soap” car was loaded and stuffed with goodies and crying annoying kids who didn’t take the road that easy as they should. Once we reached my grandparents house it was night. Every time I was just too dazed and confused with the “new” environment, that it took me 2 days to get used to certain things, as for example to the factory sponge smell hanging constantly in the air or the smell of the water…
I swear the water was different and I was very hazardous, I just couldn’t bring myself to drink it! Ah but that wasn’t all. The day after reaching the french home, was always the best day! It started with my grandma going behind the house to the “Boulangerie” and getting back freshly backed, still warm croissant and pain au chocolat. Then one by one my cousins started to come, looking for us all excited because we hadn’t seen each other in a years time and there was much to do! At that time I had 7 – 10 Cousins to play with, the numbers changed drastically to 20 after some years. So I was catching up with the french trends each time. Once it was the Gameboy then Dragon Ball Z and in our late years it was Pokemons. lol I still have my old Gameboy by the way, working like a charm, as always a solid device from the 90s! But that’s not the point of the story, just a tiny part of it…
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Each day we were at an other relatives house, which were mostly situated in typical small villages. Their houses were differently, build with grey stones and windows placed inbetween the dark roofs. The fields around were different, full of yellow wheat, known as “Blé” and red poppy flowers taking the contrast in between. Some even had flat Woods next to their house. Flat Forest Woods?! Could it be a forest, I thought forests were on mountains! no way!! I quickly dismissed the though of those odd tree areas and my cousins insisted they were forests (resulting into fierce, stubborn arguments).
Here we were experiencing everyday an other home made house dinner and each time (nearly!) we were served a Clafoutis as dessert. Clafoutis is a very famous and traditional french Cherry flan, a dessert which everybody loves and enjoys, no matter from where they come and what differences the humans have, a Clafoutis will solve it all! I don’t exaggerate by saying that, its melting in your mouth and allows you to dwell in a pool of melting joy. I know that because at the moment when I was still arguing the fact that our Austrian water was smelling better and one of my cousins was starting to get pissed by my attitude, I took a bite, my cousin was already playing with a piece of cherry with the tongue and we were sitting there in peace, no noise, an interesting silence. Finished what was left and charmed like a spell, the previous thoughts were forgotten, the differences erased and harmony had come back home.
- 400 g Cherries
- 125 g White Flour
- 2 Eggs
- 100 g Sugar (50g+50g)
- 500 ml Milk
- 1 Vanilla Bean
- pinch Salt
- I prefer to use home conserved cherries, they tend to have a more intensive flavor. Of course you may use fresh ones too, but remember to keep in the seeds. The seeds give flavor to the whole dish and the traditional recipe is made this way.
- Take out a pot and add the milk with the vanilla bean broken into 2 pieces, keep it on low flame for 2-3 minutes. Now take the Vanilla bean out and slice it open so that you can take out the black seeds inside. Add the vanilla seeds to the milk and cook for another 2 minutes on low heat. Don't allow the milk to boil! Keep aside to cool.
- In a bowl mix the dry ingredients Flour, 50 g of the Sugar and Salt together. Make a well at the center and open in the Eggs. Mix it all well and you will get a nice dough paste. Preheat the oven now to 180 Celcius.
- Take a baking form and butter it well. That will help the Clafoutis not to stick at the bottom, so this step is essential!
- The milk should be cooled down a bit, so now you can add it to the egg flour paste mix, by whisking it all well in.
- Keep your buttered form on a baking grid and add in a ¼ of the Clafoutis liquid mix. Take it into the oven and bake it first for 5 minutes. That's important, since we need the bottom to be a bit hard before we add in the rest.
- After 5 minutes you will see that the bottom is cooked enough so you can add in all cherries evenly. Over the cherries spread the other part of 50 g sugar and finish it all with the rest of the left Clafoutis batter. It has to be noted here that you better take care when taking the Clafoutis into the oven, because you might spill it all (just warning you...).
- Bake it at 180 Celcius for about 30 minutes.
Notice: There will be no new post here on Monday the 28th of May. I am taking some off time, so see you here again next Wednesday!! =D