Simple Fruit Clafoutis

Have you ever had a clafoutis? I hadn’t until about 2 years ago, I think I was following one of my favorite garden bloggers and discovered a delicious way to make a dessert that didn’t require a specific fruit. Potentially any fruit will taste scrumptious this way.

It sounds fancy, but it couldn’t be simpler and uses very country-like ingredients. I haven’t found a vegan version, but let me know if you find anything.

Start with about 3 cups of sliced or cut up fruit or whole berries.

To make the batter combine these ingredients into a blender:

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup whole milk

1/4 cup cream

3 eggs

A pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup all purpose flour

Blend and scrape down sides if needed.

Heat oven to 350°F and then dust your baking dish of choice with a tablespoon of sugar. I just used my Pyrex cake pan, but I think it works in a pie dish, brownie pan, whatever you have on hand, really.

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Pour half the batter into the baking dish.

Place fruit into pan and arrange prettily if you like.

Pour the remaining batter into dish.

Bake for 50 – 65 minutes. Mine needed the full time in there. You’ll see it rise quite high and be bubbly, and when it cools it will collapse. Look for a hint of golden brown.

The clafoutis is custardy, tart, slightly sweet, and creamy smooth. I LOVE clafoutis. When peaches are fully coming in, I’ll be making another and hopefully sharing.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer and all the blessings that come with it. (I’m thinking food, of course.)

Peace and love,

Kristan

Roasted Apricot Ice Cream

There was an abundance of apricots.

Sweet, sensuous, apricots.

It’s too easy to forget the tastes of summer.

The way food is meant to be eaten, dripping down pinkies and chins, pooling into the nooks of the creaky wooden floors.

There is an urgency to it all. To enjoy to the fullest extent the tastes, sights, and sounds of the productive season. I’ve been blessed with some apricots in my house.

What could I make that would allow the true flavors of apricot to shine through?

I love jam. I have too much homemade jam. I like pie. Not enough. Traditional ice cream? Yessssssssssss.

This recipe is an adaptation of a few, and I took great liberties, so I suppose I can call it my own.

First, roast  10 medium – large apricots by slicing them and placing cut side up onto a roasting tray. Sprinkle with sugar, maybe a tablespoon to encourage caramelization.

Set oven to 375°F to roast. Turn the pan if needed, but don’t disturb the apricots.

This should take at least 30 minutes.

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This is the apricots before roasting. They will look almost melted and will have dark brown glaze dripping and pooling all around them.

The only other ingredients are pictured below: whole milk, cream, maple syrup, 2 eggs.

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In a small saucepan heat up 1 cup of maple syrup until just boiling, then turn it down to medium – low, add in the apricots and any liquid and let those simmer together for 10 minutes.

Then add in 1 cup of cream and 2 cups of whole milk. Add in a pinch of salt. Oops, that’s not pictured, sorry.

At this point, before the mixture gets too hot, use an immersion blender to blend in the apricots with the liquids. If you want larger chunks, blend lightly. Blend more for a smoother consistency, which is what I did.

Let the mixture come to a boil.

Whisk the 2 eggs in a bowl. Take a glass measuring cup and scoop some of the hot mixture to add in slowly to the eggs to temper them. Whisk while slowly streaming about a cup into the eggs. Repeat with another cup of the hot mixture, then the eggs should be tempered and ready to pour slowly into the hot boiling mixture.

Turn the heat down to medium – low and cook for about 3 minutes more. Wait until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Now place the mixture into a bowl and let it cool down. I set it on the counter for a while so that it wouldn’t heat up my refrigerator too much, then I placed it in the refrigerator overnight. I used some beeswax wrap to cover the bowl and it worked perfectly.

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The next morning I was ready to churn! I have a KitchenAid ice cream attachment which is nice because I don’t have to have a whole other appliance.

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Churning is fun! It might need scraped down at times.

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It should look thick when it is done.

Place into container of choice and back into the freezer to finish.

My sister said it was different and really yummy! I liked the slightly roasted flavor and felt it brought out a fuller, darker sweetness.

I have also made a vegan apricot-basil ice cream here.

Peace and love,

Kristan

DIY Plastic Free Aloe Vera

An essential part of my skin care routine involves aloe vera. I have come to rely on the cooling, healing elements of this amazing plant. The reason I feel so strongly about it is partly because I found a microbiologist’s blog about skin care and her views aligned with everything I already felt and was basically the routine I had intuitively been following for a while. I’ll be honest though, I’m not always the best practitioner of skin care on a regular basis. I love masks, and oil cleansing, even rose water and making facial sprays, yet I still am just not as disciplined with doing these steps every single day.

The easier thing would be to just own an aloe vera plant, and I do. However, it isn’t large and I think I would end up using it up super fast. I don’t live in the climate the plant needs and therefore the growth is stunted and is really only for decoration. There are places where I have sliced off the ends, and it heals well, so this is an option.

When I spotted very large aloe leaves at my local co-op, I snatched one up and decided to get started on making my own liquid.

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First, I sliced it into manageable pieces. Working with one piece at a time, I took a serrated knife around the perimeter, in between the pulp and the skin and was able to squeeze out a large chunk, then used the knife to scrape out any pulp still attached to the skin.

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The leftover pieces go into compost, and the pulp now will get blended up.

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An immersion blender will work, as will a stand up blender.

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When done, it is frothy and smooth. Now is the time to strain it using a mesh strainer or even a nut milk bag, or some tripled cheesecloth. There wasn’t much pulp left over, so not much is going to waste or the compost gods.

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Pour the strained liquid into a container of your choice. It is best to keep it in the refrigerator, which has been heavenly since it reaches 100° every day in the summer. You will notice it is less viscous than anything bought in the store, but it still works really well and has no additives.

I have read that this lasts a month, but I’m going to see how long it stays fresh and update. I don’t know if it could go in a freezer, but I know I won’t be able to use this much in one month, and I don’t have a way of getting more aloe during winter months.

Peace and love,

Kristan