Apricot cupcakes or nectarine clafoutis?
I stare upwards at the blue sky… The sounds in the gardens around us seem muffled and quiet. The heat has slowed everyone down. It’s simply too warm to run around like a headless chicken and even the kids next door seem to make less noise then usual. While I lay in the cool grass under the overgrown tree in our garden I ponder about the next Plate to Page assignment; taking photographs of apricots. One in raw state and one in a baked dish. A large bumblebee buzzes around my head and I am just quick enough when I turn my head to prevent it falling flat on my face… They should call them stumble bees, rather then bumble bees.. 🙂 Especially the larger ones seem to fall quite often. Apparently humans are not the only ones that can be overweight. We have a bumblebee nest in our garden every year, but this year they seem to be more active then previous years. Maybe the nest is slowly getting too full. It’s build inside a birds house, one of those wooden structures you can hang on a tree or shed which is supposed to house a bird. Not bumblebees… They’re suffering from the heat too. Every time I walk to the shed I can hear one or two of them in the opening fanning their wings like mad. It’s their own ventilation-system but it must be – literally – killing them to sit there and fan air into the nest. Maybe the bumblebee that fell beside me in the grass was one of the “ventilators”. He’s still alive but too tired to fly it seems. I turn on my stomach and watch the bumblebee as it tries to climb a blade of grass but keeps falling down.
The writing assignment to go with the photography assignment is summer memories.. Ah… summers when life was good and nothing was wanted of you but to play in the sun, build sandcastles and run to mom and dad for your new sunscreen.. As kids we would always go on vacation to the beach; when we were little we went to Noordwijk, Katwijk en Egmond aan Zee. When we were in our teens, we moved those beaches to France and on occasion we would go to Austria.
I loved going to the ocean; no matter what the weather was. We would take long walks when it was windy and cold (and remember this was still Holland!) and huddle up in our little cabin and play silly card games. Or read.. I could read forever, ask my parents! And o, by the way; can you see how blond I used to be??
But then came the time when I turned 15 (or 16, can’t remember) and did no longer want to go on family holidays… Family holidays were for children and I was no longer that (I am sure I was still a kid in the eyes of my parents but in my mind I was very mature…)
So I went on my own with friends, but with no money that ended up being a trip around Holland by train..lol.. I honestly can’t remember when the last family holiday together was; I should probably look at my photoalbums to know how old I was when that happened.
In my memories too the summers always used to be warmer. These days it’s either too hot with temperatures going above 30 or it is raining. I suspect that it is really my memory playing tricks on me as I do have a lot of photos where we are huddled in raincoats on our summerholidays! But over to the present day and our assignment for apricots or other stonefruit. I have to confess that I usually am not too fond of the apricots we can find here. They are just not the best in flavor, but nectarines and peaches can be really nice. I did have the most amazing apricots when we were in France a few weeks ago and that just proofed the point that not all fruit is created equal…
For this challenge I initially set out to make apricot cupcakes. I had found some apricots that looked fairly ok so I figured making them into cupcakes would be a good idea. But my first batch of cupcakes failed miserably.. I mean seriously seriously big failure. I made a mistake by adding bakingsoda instead of baking powder but I noticed the mistake while adding it into the batter. I scooped out most of the salt and proceeded in adding the required amount of baking powder. Can you guess what went wrong there?
It was just one of those things where I already knew it would go wrong as soon as I popped them into the oven and needless to say… I was correct. So *deep sigh* I started again with the second batch. Those were much much better (couldn’t have really been any worse!) and quite tasty too. The only thing I struggled with was finding a good angle to take a photograph of them and while I was initially not unhappy with the photos; the longer I looked at them the less appealing they became.
So I decided I needed to go with another stonefruit and make myself a clafoutis. As faith would have it; I made the first clafoutis and used a different recipe from my usual one. Can’t remember where I found it but it just was not the best in terms of consistency and flavor. So… again on to the second batch and this time it came out tasting and looking delicious as a clafoutis should!
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 milk
- 1/2 cream
- 1/4 cup flour
- 300 gr nectarines cleaned and stones removed. Cut into slices
- Preheat your oven to about 180 C
- Put your nectarines or other fruit in pie forms. Make sure you buttered them before adding the fruit.
- Wisk the eggs and honey together till smooth. Add milk, cream and flour and whisk until smooth again.
- Slowly pour over the fruit, making sure that the fruit is not completely submerged under the batter.
- bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.
The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.