Man, where did this weekend go?? I had all sorts of grandiose ideas of the stuff I'd do: a post about my ski trip, an article that I owe an editor, editing the dozens of ski trip photos that I want to put on Flickr, writing up a few posts for this blog…
Instead, I managed: to edit about 10% of the photos; 1 trip to the gym; loads of laundry; two trips to Greenwich market only to discover the the stall I need only trades on Fridays; shopping for my birthday present (yay!); and a lovely lunch in the countryside with friends.
Was it fun? Mostly. Did any of that match the to do list above? Ummm, no, not really.
Good thing I had a spare recipe up my sleeve to share wth you! And on that topic, it's always good to have a dish up your sleeve that you can make with minimal fresh ingredients at super-short notice, when friends drop by unexpectedly, or when you just plain forgot to go shopping! This recipe is an old standby of mine and the only fresh ingredient that you need is fresh cream – all the rest are store-cupboard standbys (and in a pinch I'm sure it would also work with long-life cream).
I've written about clafoutis before, so I won't bore you again – feel free to check out my cherry clafoutis, peach & cardamom clafoutis, and rhubarb & ginger clafoutis. Suffice to say it's a baked custard-like traditional French dessert and the only limit to the flavours/fillings is your imagination. I love the tartness of the apricots in this version, and the contrast between the crisp almond slivers and the wobbly custard. Simple, store-cupboard deliciousness!
APRICOT CLAFOUTIS (serves 8)
6 large free-range eggs
240ml cream (I used double cream)
240g caster sugar
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
140g cake flour, sifted
50g softened butter
2 x 400g tins of apricot halves, drained
100g flaked almonds
icing sugar to serve
vanilla ice-cream to serve
Beat the eggs, cream, sugar and vanilla essence together in a bowl. Add flour and beat with a wooden spoon for about 1 minute. Spread the apricot halves evenly over the base of the buttered dish and drizzle with the brandy. If time allows, set both the batter and the apricots aside to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 220C and butter a 2 litre ovenproof dish. Pour the batter over the apricot halves (they will float – don't worry – this is normal!) and bake on the top shelf of the oven for about 25 minutes.
Reduce the heat 190C, sprinkle with the flaked almonds and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until golden, puffy and set.
Sieve some icing sugar over the top (optional) and serve immediately with good quality vanilla ice-cream.
Time is running out – please don't forget to nominate me in this year's South African Blog Awards – the nominations deadline has been extended to 18 March. You have to nominate at least three different blogs, and each blog that you nominate may be nominated in as many categories as you like. You also have to supply a valid e-mail address so that they know you are not a robot, and you may only submit one nomination form so think before you nominate! Read the complete rules here and check out Amatomu for some inspiring South African blogs to nominate. And if you click the pic below, you will find that Cooksister has already been filled in for you in the relevant categories! Just nominate two other blogs in the categories of your choice, enter your e-mail and submit. Easy!