Summer Fest Part 2 with a clafoutis

By Mélanie, on Monday, August 10, 2009


Today, we are celebrating two events :

- I am happy to announce that the "baby sister" of this blog is created! As I told you, this new blog is not at all about culinary experiences. I've often regretted not to know the city I live in better. So I'm going to visit Paris, take pictures, and every day, photo by photo, you'll be able to visit with me. During the week-ends, it will be more relaxing with beautiful sceneries of the French countryside, that my friend Claire will be sharing with you. The blog's name is Country and the City, and I hope you'll visit regularly. Tell us if you like it!

- Back to the kitchen, and this is the second week of the Summer Fest 2009. This event is "a four-week celebration of fresh-from-the-garden food: recipes, growing tips, even tricks for storing and preserving summer’s best".
The co-creators of this event are : Maragret from A Way to Garden, Matt Armendariz of Mattbites, Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, and Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple, with guest appearances from Shauna and Daniel Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl, Simmer Till Done’s Marilyn Pollack Naron, and Paige Smith Orloff of The Sister Project.

This week is (almost was, as, once again, I'm waiting for the last days to finally post these!!)dedicated to stone fruit.


Now, I'm not sure cherries are considered as stone fruits... I've never heard of a "stone fruit" category in France, but they have stone, they are in trees, so I hope it's right... At least there are some peaches in the recipe too.

In our garden, we have had difficulties with stone fruits. I love spring time, when the apricot tree and the cherry tree are blossoming. They have these small pale pink and white flowers, and when the wind blows, it looks like it's snowing. Just for that, it is worth having them. But, as you can see, our cherry tree is not very prolific. The roses climbing in the tree is much more!


Fortunately, our local producer has lots of cherries, including Montmorency cherries, which are more on the sour side than the regular ones. They are perfect to include in this almond clafoutis.


Summer fruit clafoutis
For 4 individual clafoutis

1 pound summer fruits (cherries, apricots, peaches...)
2 eggs
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar + 2 Tbsp
3 Tbsp flour or cornstarch
1/3 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Grease the 4 ramekins with butter and sprinkle with a tablespoon sugar. Arrange the fruits inside.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a bowl, mix together the eggs with the sugar and the vanilla extract. Add eggs and butter. Add and mix in half flour, then cream. Add remaining flour and milk. Make sure there are no lump.
Pour on the fruits and bake for 40 minutes. Five minutes before the ending, sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon sugar.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Clafoutis aux fruits d'été
Pour 4 clafoutis

500g de fruits (cerises, abricots, prunes, pêches)
2 oeufs
35g de beurre fondu
13 cl de lait
13 cl de crème liquide
50g de sucre + 2 cuillères à soupe
20g de farine ou de maizena
60g d'amandes en poudre
1/2 cuillère d'extrait naturel de vanille

Beurrez 4 ramequins et saupoudrez avec une cuillère de sucre. Disposez les fruits dans ces 4 plats.
Préchauffez le four à 180°.
Dans une jatte, fouettez les oeufs avec le sucre et la vanille. Ajoutez les amandes en poudre et le beurre, puis alternez avec la farine, le lait et la crème en mélangeant à chaque fois pour éviter la formation de grumeaux.
Versez cet appareil sur les fruits et faites cuire 40 minutes. Cinq minutes avant la fin de la cuisson, saupoudrez d'une dernière cuillère de sucre.
Servez tiède ou à température ambiante.
La suite, please

Mint & Strawberries in the simplest apparel

By Mélanie, on Tuesday, August 4, 2009


This second recipe is a little late for the summer fest week. We're now talking about stone fruits, so I'm off subject here. But maybe you have a prolific mint like me & my mother do. Or maybe you bought a bunch for a recipe and you're left with a handful of leaves, no knowing what to do next. Well, here I am with the solution!
Ain't I nice?

pâte sucrée
you'd better say yes, have you seen this rolling pin?

This recipe is, once again, very simple to assemble. This is all about summer, and the last thing we want is to spend a whole sunny day inside, cooking... It's time to rest, to go to the beach or to discover the parks of your city. It's also time to enjoy the bright simplicity of fruits. Just a sablée crust and mint will make the sweet flavors of ripe strawberries stand out. There's no need for cream. No, I said no pastry cream. No whipped cream. Don't insist. I had doubts too. Then I tasted it. No doubts anymore. You can do it.


About the tart crust : this is the fourth recipe on my blog. Whatever the recipe, please make it yourself and don't use a store-bought one. It's really easy, there's no reason to be afraid. Don't hesitate to put a lot of flour on your kitchen counter before rolling it. And if it breaks, it ok, just press it together in your pie form. There is NO comparaison between a store-bought crust and a homemade...


Strawberry and mint tart

For the sugar crust
1 egg
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 stick butter
1 pinch salt

For the tart
1 1/2 pound strawberries
15 mint leaves
2 Tbsp currant jelly

First mix sugar, flour, salt and the butter for a few seconds. Mix in the egg and, with your hand palm, press the dough about 3 times, just until it forms a ball that holds together. Flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 340°F.
Roll out dough into a on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Delicately fold the rolled dough in 4, to lift it easily, and unfold in the tart form. Prick bottoms all over with a fork and bake 15 minutes.

Once the crust cooled, arrange diced strawberries on top, in a concentric form.
In a small saucepan, heat the jelly with 1 Tbps water until liquid. Brush the strawberries with the jelly.
Slice thinly the mint leaves, and sprinkle over the pie.

Tarte aux fraises et à la menthe

Pour la pâte sucrée
1 oeuf
100g de beurre
200g de farine
80g de sucre
1 pincée de sel

Pour la tarte
700g de fraises
2 cuillères à soupe de gelée de groseilles
une quinzaine de feuilles de menthe

Mélangez quelques secondes le sucre, la farine, le sel et le beurre, le temps de former une pâte grumeleuse. Incorporez l'œuf. Fraisez (c’est l’action de travailler avec la paume de la main) rapidement et formez 1 boule de pâte. Aplatissez et enveloppez ce disque dans un film plastique pour reposer au frais pendant au moins 1 heures.
Préchauffez le four à 170°.
Farinez abondamment le plan de travail ainsi que le rouleau à pâtisserie, puis étalez la pâte sur 2 à 3 mm d'épaisseur. Pliez délicatement la pate en 4 pour la soulever plus facilement et depliez là dans le moule à tarte. Mettez à cuire 15 minutes.

Une fois le fond de tarte refroidi, arrangez les fraises coupées en lamelles de manière concentrique.
Dans une petite casserole, faites fondre la gelée avec un peu d'eau, et appliquez ce nappage sur les fraises.
Emincez finement la menthe, et disposez la sur la tarte.

La suite, please

Last call for summer fest

By Mélanie, on Monday, August 3, 2009


You know this feeling, when you're rushing through the airport, running and hoping you'll get in time before the plane takes off? The adrenaline is pumping, but deep down you know that you can make it, that, no matter how tired you are, it's going to be alright. You won't give up.
Well, that exactly how I feel right now. It's 2 a.m. in Paris and I want to post this recipe before the end of the day (US time. no, it's not cheating). To my regret, I have not participated to a lot of blog events (one, actually), but when I saw that Todd and Diane, of White on Rice Couple, collaborated to the Summer Fest 2009, I knew I wanted to be part of this.

geranium petit

This event is "a four-week celebration of fresh-from-the-garden food: recipes, growing tips, even tricks for storing and preserving summer’s best". Some people may think that they are not concerned because they live in an apartment. But if you have even a windowsill, you can have some fresh aromatic herbs at home.


Because I grew up in a house with a garden, filled with stone fruits trees (apricots, peaches, cherries), berries, tomatoes, zucchini, and herbs (and LOTS of flowers...), this is something I really missed when moving to Paris.
Fortunately, I have now a balcony, and my first plantation was for a little corner of kitchen delights : rosemary, thyme, basil, etc...


But the easiest herb to grow is mint. It's almost like weeds, appearing in every corner of my jardinière. If you don't want this, you should plant it in a separate part. I don't mind though, because i really enjoy its fresh and peppery flavor during the summer. It will make a huge difference in a simple fruit salad, but really, when it's hot outside, you can just add it to anything!
I'm going to post a few (and sooo easy) recipes with mint to give you some ideas... There was the strawberry and watermelon smoothie.
This is a chilled cucumber soup, perfect as an appetizer, with some friends on a warm evening.


Chilled mint and cucumber soup with shrimps
For 4 appetizers

1 large cucumber
1 yogurt or 1/2 cup buttermilk
10 mint leaves, washed
1 teaspoon salt
12 shrimps, cooked

In a blender purée cucumber and mint with buttermilk and salt until smooth (I start with one third of the cucumber and all the buttermilk, and then I add gradually the rest, so that the cucumber doesn't get stuck in my blender). Keep in refrigerator. Before serving, add 3 shrimps in each bowl.
Served chilled.

Soupe froide de concombre à la menthe
Pour 4 entrées

1 concombre
1 yaourt brassé
10 feuilles de menthe, lavées
1 large pincée de sel
12 crevettes cuites

Réduisez le concombre, la menthe, le sel et le yaourt en purée dans votre blender / mixeur (je commencer toujours par hacher 1/3 du concombre avant d'ajouter le reste, sinon tout se coince entre les lames du robot). Gardez au réfrigerateur.
Avant de servir, ajoutez 3 crevettes dans chaque bol.
Servez bien froid.

La suite, please