FRESH PEACH GINGER PEASANT CAKES ~ JULIE & JULIA ~ A vegetarian twist to her clafoutis!

“I think the inner person is the most important. . . . I would like to see an invention that keeps the mind alert. That’s what is important.”
Julia Child

The release of Julie & Julia has led to a Julia Child wave among blogs, food blogs in particular. Elle’s New England Kitchen & Food Blogga featured some beautiful blog posts on the film. Do head for their blogs as Elle & Susan have some sweet sound bites on the film. The film’s official blog, Julie & Julia also is well worth a visit. The other day I saw a beautiful Cherry clafoutis that Val posted @ More Than Burnt Toast. It was for an event that Helene @ Le Cusine de Helene had tweeted out for a Julia Child MAFTC challenge. MAFTC?Mastering the Art of French Cooking’, of course! I was dashed I had missed it. But Helene, being the sweetheart that she is, retweeted it to me, & here I am! Thank you Helene! We ♥ challenges like this. FUN!! Vive la TWITTER!!
(Don’t you just ♥ it?) Here are a couple of tweets about the MAFTC as i got them…
  • RT Announcing Mastering the Art of French Cooking Challenge. Pick any recipe and blog, tweet about it nx Friday. Who’s in???
  • @CulinaryMelange @cardamomaddict @kbgerth @ABCcooking @vindee @kitchenpuppies @Dragonskitchen @mollierosev are you in for MTAFC Friday?
Julia Child (born Julia Carolyn McWilliams August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004) was an American chef, author and television personality, who introduced French cuisine and cooking techniques to the American mainstream, through her many cookbooks and television programs. Her most famous works are the 1961 cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and the television series The French Chef.
In August 2002, Julie Powell started documenting online her daily experiences cooking each of the 524 recipes in Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and she later began reworking that blog, The Julie/Julia Project, into a book. In March 2008, director-screenwriter Nora Ephron began filming Julie & Julia, adapted from Powell’s memoir, Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. The paperback was retitled Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously (Back Bay Books, 2006). Ephron’s film, the first major motion picture based on a blog, is scheduled for August 7, 2009 release. Meryl Streep stars as Julia Child and Amy Adams portrays Julie Powell.

Now onto the food bit … ie clafoutis. Clafoutis, sometimes in Anglophone countries spelled clafouti, is a custard-like baked French dessert that is typically made by baking fresh fruit (traditionally cherries) and a batter, somewhat similar to pancake batter, in a baking dish. Originally from Limousin, the dish’s name comes from Occitan clafotís, from the verb clafir, meaning “to fill up” (implied: “the batter with cherries”). Clafoutis apparently spread throughout France during the 19th century.

As a matter of strange coincidence, I was to take a peep again into a charming blog, Luna Cafe, around this time. It’s a wonderful place, full of exciting ideas, and flavours that are so ‘me’. It’s funny, but each post of SMS Bradleys‘ has flavours and choices I would inherently turn to. This time was no exception. She posted a Fresh Apricot Ginger Peasant Cake & my heart skipped a beat. Glory be thy name! It was a rather intriguing take on the clafoutis, in her words, “Drawing inspiration from Julia Child who describes this classic dessert beautifully, along with several variations, in the inestimable, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1. My version is on the other end of the spectrum. It contains no eggs and is cake-like (not a pancake, not a custard) with a decidedly chewy texture, which everyone who tastes it loves. I don’t recall where I stumbled on the unusual formula here, but I have not encountered it anywhere since.”

Well said… This cake is utterly simple to make, tastes as good as the fruit you put in, is eggless, yet cake like. It has this wonderfully chewy texture, with the fruit & batter combining to create magic. It’s lovely served warm, light enough for an afternoon tea, but is as good served chilled with some unsweetened cream, or even ice-cream. It tasted good with the Roasted Peach & Plum Ice-cream I had just made. The ice-cream, which is low fat & eggless, complimented the peasant cake beautifully. A dusting of almond slivers, a few snips of homemade candied ginger made it an even happier combination.Perfect for summer … light & endearing, the cakes are good for breakfast too. Chilling these enhanced the flavour of the ginger within, & resulted in instant crystallised ginger addiction in the kids! I have never seen them take to ginger so well! The cake is best made with good quality apricots, but I did pretty well with fresh peaches. Other fruit suggestions include blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or sour cherries.

To quote SMS Bradley, Apricots release their full depth of flavor only when cooked, thus I am always looking for ways to treat them to a little heat. They are the perfect fruit for this simple cake, but blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, or sour cherries will also work beautifully.FRESH PEACH GINGER PEASANT CAKES
as adapted from this recipe at Luna Cafe
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 peaches, halved, seeds removed
1/2 cup vanilla sugar
3 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Cake Batter
Ingredients:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup vanilla sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk, plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Garnish
Powdered sugar in a shaker
Slivered almonds (optional)

Method:

  • Butter a 10½-inch diameter ceramic pie plate with a 5-6 cup capacity, or 6-8 small shallow individual tart pans. (Another shape of shallow baking dish with the same capacity will also work.) You may need to use a brush to lightly coat the edges of the pie plate with butter. Reserve.
  • Halve the peaches, pit, & roughly chop for small tart pans, or quarter (bigger pieces for 1 large dish. Put these in a big bowl with the vanilla sugar,candied ginger, vanilla extract and lime juice. Gently combine the peaches with the other ingredients. Reserve.

To prepare the cake batter:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, the remaining 3/4 cup vanilla sugar, and the baking powder. With a wooden spoon or whisk, beat in the milk & vanilla extract to produce a smooth batter. Don’t over beat. However, the batter should not have too many lumps either. Pour the batter into the center of the buttered dish. It will spread out on its own.
  • Place a spoonful of peaches, and some of their remaining liquid evenly over the batter, leaving a 1/4–inch open border of batter around the outside edges. I also did a few with spooning the fruit in first & the batter over. The first was prettier, but both dramatic! For a single large gratin dish, place all the fruit on top of the batter, & leave a 3/4″ border. (this will allow the batter to rise dramatically at the edges).
  • Place on a rack in the upper third of a preheated 190°C oven. Set an edged baking sheet on the rack below to catch any overflow.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes (a little less for smaller cakes), or until the sides are fully puffed, the center is slightly puffed, and the top is golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cook for 15 minutes before cutting / serving. To serve, dust with powdered sugar and cut into wedges for 1 large pie, or as is for smaller cakes.
  • Serves 4-6

♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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Comments

  1. ♥♥♥Ria♥♥♥ says:

    This post is so full of beautiful pics Deeba!! Lovely!!And the cakes look really amazing! Perfect entry for MAFTC!!

  2. Helene says:

    Thanks a lot for doing the Challenge for MTAFC. Your pictures are so beautiful. It's getting better and better everything I come here :)

  3. Nachiketa says:

    Loved the pictures and delicate flavors… and you're in love with ♥s…. They seem to have taken over your blog….. :-)
    ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

  4. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Those look so good! A delightful dessert! Love your pics and presentation…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  5. Arwen from Hoglet K says:

    That looks beautiful, and it's even better that you served it with homemade icecream! It's great to have the kids interested in ginger too – you'll be able to try all sorts of ginger recipes.

  6. Dhanggit says:

    This post should have a warning, dont look when you are hungry :-) i love this treat and the photos are magnificent!!

  7. Craaaazy! Those look amazing! Ginger and peach is such a wonderful combination too.

  8. Tangled Noodle says:

    When you mentioned that you served your Roast Peach and Plum ice cream with this, I just had to know how you did it! Thank you for the recipe and magnificent photos. They are so inspirational – I'm trying to learn from your beautiful photography (although I haven't yet tried using other props, except a spoon!)

  9. Donna-FFW says:

    Deeba– these sound so delectable and they look absolutely gorgeous. They must be entirely delicious!

  10. Miakoda says:

    I love these, Deeba. Amazing delectable pictures. Very, very tempting :)

  11. Nithya says:

    AMAZING dish and PHOTOS look great :)

  12. Parita says:

    Peach and ginger sounds awesome combination!

  13. villaggioceramics says:

    ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥what a delicious food,i like eat it in a good Ceramic Plate from Deruta Italy…yes

  14. Reeni♥ says:

    What gorgeous pictures! The peach cakes look incredible!

  15. Pavithra says:

    Looks so good and well presented i always adore ur photo skills and presentation ideas.

  16. Darina says:

    Wasn't that a fun challenge. Your photos–nay, your whole blog–look beautiful. Delicious.

  17. ARUNA says:

    everything looks so wonderful and mouth-watering here Deeba…great job!

  18. Snooky doodle says:

    it s such a joy visiting your blog. Always with fantastic photos and delicious recipe. This recipe is really interesting and looks so yummy :)

  19. You have the most beautiful blog. Please DON'T visit mine…I blog by default…LOL. You have to blog to belong to these groups, and I am no photographer, no artist, and no stylist, for sure, but I do love to learn how to cook/bake. I am so inspired by your whole blog and this post was so wonderfully inspiring. The food looks fabulous. Check, putting this recipe on my list to try. I hope this group does not grow to be 100 or I will have too large of a list to try each week.

  20. Gloria says:

    I told you dear Deeba, your pictures are absolutely beauty and temting!! This look so nice and yummy!! xxGloria

  21. Fuji Mama says:

    Oh my goodness gracious these look good! Gotta love St. Julia, one of our patron saints of the kitchen!

  22. Shari@Whisk: a food blog says:

    It is so fun to see Julia getting the recognition she so deserves. This is a great post and your photos are gorgeous!

  23. Kamran Siddiqi says:

    Where should I start commenting on your masterpieces? I love the warm feeling of your blog. Makes me feel as if I were at home. The photos portray how much love you put into each dish and how much love you put into organizing each photo.

    Love, love love, your site. I'm glad to have stumbled upon it a couple of days ago.

  24. Kamran Siddiqi says:

    Where should I start commenting on your masterpieces? I love the warm feeling of your blog. Makes me feel as if I were at home. The photos portray how much love you put into each dish and how much love you put into organizing each photo.

    Love, love love, your site. I'm glad to have stumbled upon it a couple of days ago.

  25. Room design studio says:

    Making it Making it definetly making it ! Love the presentation .esp. the spoon inside the napkin ring!

  26. Kerstin says:

    Peach and ginger sound perfect together, what such cute little cakes!

  27. Cucinista says:

    I love a clafoutis, and I love the pictures and explanation. Thanks for both — your post is amazing as always.

  28. Sophie says:

    I am asking myself: when are you opening your own patisserie?

    I will fly to India, if I have to to indulge myself in your wonderful & excellent desserts!!

  29. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    What a mouth watering looking clafoutis Deeba! I cannot wait to see that movie! I hope it sets off an after effect for us food bloggers! :P

  30. i have no idea what twitter is. reckon i need to get with it soon! technology is moving so quick :) have always wantted to try something from Julie and Julia..wow! this looks so delicious i need to check that book out. :) yum yum xx

  31. Jamie says:

    Deeba! You blow me away with your recipes and your photos! Beautiful! And I love clafoutis and this one looks divine.

    Please go check out my latest blog post, I gave you a much-deserved award! Hugs!

  32. Nazarina A says:

    These are exquisite pics! This ginger and peach dessert will definitely bring out the happy peasant in me!

  33. Gera @ SweetsFoods says:

    Wonderful post Deeba…I missed this MAFTC challenge…..
    Hope to see the movie…I’m sure totally worth :)

    Clafoutis so magnificent!! today after all these sweetness need a lot of workouts!!

    All the best,

    Gera

  34. Traveling Spork says:

    Looks beautiful. I happen to have some candied ginger sitting around, too. Must make these to celebrate the opening of the movie ( I can't wait to see it.)

  35. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    I am so looking forward to that movie. It comes out in October here in Australia I believe. I am excited there seems to be a MTAFC challenge. I must investigate!

  36. I tried this recipe and it's not that good. It tastes too gingery due to the 3 tblps of candied ginger and the crust is OK, strusel tastes better.

  37. Amanda says:

    These look absolutely fabulous, what gorgeous photos! I just made eggs in ramekins and can't wait for Friday to see what everyone else made :)

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