cherry clafoutis

does anyone need any reminders about how truly scrumptious stone fruit is? oh my goodness it is my absolute favourite! along with mango, and berries, and melon…. ok maybe i have a few favourites ;)

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i can’t deny that usually i scoff at posts that give a recipe for summer fruit like cherries and berries – they are perfect just as they are! it doesn’t help that usually i read these in the depths of winter, while the northern hemisphere is enjoying summer, and the thought of ever needing a way to use up summer fruit seems decidedly bizarre.

with that said- we had the remnants of a big carton of cherries lurking in the fridge, which were soft and dented and not terribly appetising. i was reluctant to waste them so vaguely wondered whether a clafoutis type dessert might be a good use for them- we only had a few handfuls so not enough for a pie and couldn’t be bothered making a cake. so i googled a recipe and oh my goodness – we had all the ingredients! which isn’t really that shocking since they are pretty basic ingredients, but regardless, this is a rare enough occurrence that i just had to make it. invariably i’m stuck trying to meld three different recipes into one that satisfies the contents of my pantry – which does not always succeed!

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it turned out much better than i remembered – the initially overripe cherries softening and intensifying into jammy little bursts amongst a silky creamy custard. i loved how quick and easy it was to whip up and pop in the oven – a perfect simple dessert to bring to a summer barbecue, and not too heavy or indulgent.

lately i’ve been getting things sussed for this academic year, and it’s just starting to kick in that i’ll be the proud recipient of a BA by the end of the year. my time at uni has just flown by and although i’m planning on continuing my studies, the end of my BA will be the end of an era. an era of meeting the most wonderful friends of my life, living in a hall with 300 other 18 year olds, of leaving home and learning how to look after myself and do laundry/pay bills/buy groceries… a very special time of my life and a bridge between childhood and adulthood. i guess i’m still labouring under the impression that as soon as i get a full-time legit job that i’ll feel old and grown up, but according to my mama you never feel old and grown up on the inside…..so i’ll let you know how that one pans out ;)

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my northern hemisphere pals – please bookmark for the summer months! i think it is absolutely perfect with cherries, as is traditional, and apricots would be divine as well.

cherry clafoutis, adapted from here

– my only adaption were to skip the kirsch and reduce amount the milk and sugar a little, plus i skipped the lemon zest and almond extract to keep the focus on the cherries. it was PERFECT! Ps – keep an eye on it in the last 5ish mins – you don’t want to overcook the custard.

1 1/2 cups fresh cherries
50g caster sugar
20g butter, melted, plus extra to grease
1 tbsp demerara sugar
50g plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
200ml whole milk

Preheat the oven to 180C/350 F. Grease a baking dish just wide enough to hold the cherries in one layer, and sprinkle in the demerara sugar to coat the bottom.

Remove the stalks of the cherries then wash in a sieve.

Whisk together flour and caster sugar, followed by the eggs, then milk and melted butter, until you have a smooth batter.

Pour into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle over cherries evenly. Bake for 25-30 mins until just set but still a bit wobbly. Best served after it has cooled for 10 mins or so, when the custard is extra silky. Enjoy! and watch out for the stones ;).

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2015

happy new year all! may 2015 be a year filled with side splitting laughs, mouth watering food and fantastic experiences for you all. I enjoyed a wonderful extended family christmas at my grandparent’s farm, with my whole maternal side of the family. presents aside, it was just so fantastic to spend time with my most loved people in the world, which is a real treat in these busy days. and of course the food was amazing – i would expect nothing else from 4 Woods women (plus many helpful grandchildren!)

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^^^the very cutest family in the entire world, in my humble opinion..

We headed up to Wanaka Boxing Day evening, as i began my job the next day! I’m working at a very cool cafe situated right in town, making coffees and waitressing. I’m a week in now and just love it – everyone is so friendly, we serve such beautiful drinks and food and since the cafe is so very busy and popular, the hours just fly by. i’m still unsure as to how i managed to get such a good job… when i i figure that one out, i’ll be sure to let you know ;)

I was a little concerned that with working so much (I’m averaging 5 days a week) i wouldn’t get to enjoy summer or my holidays, but that really hasn’t transpired. Just being in Wanaka is a tonic to my soul; glimpsing those stunning mountains and iridescent lake during the day soothes me in such a way that urban christchurch cannot. swimming in the lake after a hot and sweaty shift at work is simply the best!

i thought i’d jump on the wagon and share some of my resolutions for 2015, or as i prefer to call them, intentions. while listening to one of my favourite podcasts Tracy talked about ‘intentions’ rather than ‘resolutions’ and i like that. i feel like there’s a huge cliche about breaking your new years resolutions a couple of weeks into January and then they’re finished whereas an intention is basically just saying things are a work in process. which we all surely are!

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so, here are my five 2015 intentions:

1. be consistent with running (and hopefully complete a half marathon!)
I love running, but i definitely go through patches of running then not, and so on. exercise is a huge mental health improver for me and i always feel much better when i am running regularly, so i really want to work on this in 2015, with the hopeful outcome being completing a half marathon at some point- a goal of mine for a couple of years, and one i really want to complete!! watch this space..

2. figure out postgrad.
I’ll be finished with my BA at the end of this year, and my plans after that are still a bit up in the air. i’m intending to continue with study, so this year i need to get everything sorted for the year after!

3.continue to work on this blog.
yes yes, for my whole 3 readers sakes (my mum’s now reading, hooray ;)
but seriously, i am determined to make time out from study to blog on this space, even if it’s not all that frequently. on the upside, the kitchen in our flat this year is way nicer than last years, plus has a dishwasher (!!!) so that should make cooking and blogging about it pretty painless.

4. stop interrupting people.
I have such an awful habit of interrupting people, without even meaning to! it seems disrespectful and rude and can often shut shy people down. i’m planning on making a concerted effort to keep my mouth shut until the person i’m chatting to has FINISHED what they’ve got to say, which will be hard since i’m such a chatty kathy, but 100% worth it.

5. find a way to give back to my community.
I’ve lived 2 years in Dunedin having a ball of a time as a student, benefiting from a lot of what the city has to offer. This year, however, i want to find a way to give back. avenues i’m specifically interested in going down would be anything environmental, or with helping families in poverty. The 2014 election was an eye opener with the child poverty statistics being bandied around and NZ’s child poverty rates are truly appalling for a developed country. We have so many things to celebrate about this little country of ours but this is not one of them.

so give me the goss – what are your resolutions/intentions for 2015?