Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Around the World on Wednesday- #1

I love exploring food from different cultures and regions of the world. As a child, I wasn't exposed to anything other than Mexican food, except the occasional Chinese buffet, if you can really call that Chinese food. It wasn't that my family wasn't interested in other cultures, but up until recently, Laredo was about 99% Mexican American, which means there really wasn't a market for anything other than Mexican ingredients. Now that things have changed there are more ingredients readily available (even though they may be really expensive). I thought that having a weekly international dish would be a great way to expand my international palate and help others out in trying foods from all over the world! So, for my first Around the World Wednesday Entry- FRANCE! (After all, I love all things French.)

Beautiful tree lined country roads in southern France.

French food can seem daunting mostly because of their name. At least, it was that way for me. To tell you the truth, I never even attempted making anything French until I met my husband. I wanted him to be able to enjoy things from home and that's how my love of French food all began. I don't know what there isn't to love. So many cheeses, breads, sauces, wine, champagne, and techniques than can be used a variety of ways.

The recipe I have chosen for today is Clafouti. It is an super simple, beautiful looking tart that has a similar texture to flan. This a traditional peasant dish from the Limousin region of France. It can be made with cherries, plums, apples, blackberries, blueberries, and you can add almonds to the mixture. With all the beautiful cherries at the grocery store, I couldn't resist making them with cherries! The end result was beautiful and the sweetness/ tartness from the cherries was delicious.

adapted from Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol. 1
- 2 cups pitted and halved fresh cherries
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- powdered sugar
- a baking dish that holds 7 to 8 cups, or 6- 4 in. tart pans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the milk, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, and flour in the order with they are listed in your blender. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. During this time butter your baking dish. (I used canola oil cooking spray.)

Pour a 1/4 in. layer of batter in the baking dish or tart pans. Set over moderate heat for a minute or two until a film of batter has set in the bottom of the dish. If, you are using the smaller tart pans you can place them into the oven for 3-5 minutes until the film has set. Remove from the heat and arrage the cherries over the batter. Sprinkle the remaining granulated sugar over the cherries. Pour on the rest of the batter and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.

Place in the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for about an hour for a baking dish or 40 minutes for the small tart pans. The clafouti is done when it has puffed and browned, and a needle or knife plunged into its center comes out clean. Dust with the powdered sugar just before serving. It can be eaten warm or cooled.

Here are a few Fun Facts about France:
From French Affair
-The Languedoc-Rousillon city of Nîmes is the birthplace of jeans. The distinctive fabric was imported to California by Levi Strauss in order to make tough work trousers for gold diggers. Denim is short for “de Nîmes”.

-Under laws that no-one has ever got round to removing from the statute book, it is illegal to call a pig Napoleon.

-As a warm up, English typists use "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs." as it contains every letter of the alphabet..

The French use "Allez porter ce vieux whisky au juge blond qui fume un havane." It means .. Take this whisky to the blond judge who is smoking a cigar.


  1. This looks do delishhh!! We have a big bag of cherries in our fridge that are just waiting to be put to good use..

    Your pictures are great!

  2. Hope you still have a sample for me. It looks delish!

  3. Viv, that photo with the trees is so peaceful somehow! I love cherries, but not cooked, though the recipe you have here sure sounds delish!

  4. Mmmm, I love the pictures, did you take them? I'm sure it came out delicious! Found you at the Thursday Blog Hop and am glad I did! Am a happy new follower :).

  5. I can't wait to try this - I love all things cherry!

  6. What a beautiful looking tart! Sound simple and delicious! Let me go get some cherries and make them this weekend! Thanks for sharing and have a great one!


  7. I just loved the drives in the countryside when I visited France. Your photo brought back wonderful memories for me. Your cherry pie looks fabulous! I wish I could have a slice right now. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday, have a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  8. You are in the best hands with Julia. I love clafoutis. If you like all things French, you might like my little blog since I'm from Paris. :-) You are invited to participate in my weekly recipe linky parties on Mondays and Thursdays.

  9. Hey! Not sure if you've seen the post yet or not but I featured you this week on savory sunday!!

  10. just wanted to let you know that i featured you on my blog today :)


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