Morning glories

It seems like everything in the garden is coming to an end for the year, to greater and lesser degrees, but not the morning glories. Perched on our back deck over the valley below, they have only just come into their own in recent days. Late to the party, stretching towards the sun, but just what’s needed right now.

Blue morning glory

Morning glories climbing bamboo

Morning glories against a misty valley

Gluten free clafoutis with raspberries

Gluten free clafoutis with raspberries

As hoped, we seem to be experiencing a second wave of raspberries on our land – not as abundant as round one, but there is something so perfect about stepping outside after supper and finding just enough berries to make dessert. There isn’t always time for this kind of thing, but tonight the dog was happy to sniff around while we gathered a few hands full of berries for a clafoutis. A gluten free clafoutis, which I promised to share here recently.

I can still remember being unnerved and unsettled at the idea of baking without wheat gluten; I had spent years getting very comfortable with wheat-based baking, and I was afraid to resign myself and my family to a life without delicious baked goods. But that fear was never realized. It turned out that so many years of traditional baking made it remarkably easy to switch to different baking methods, and to question anything that I didn’t like the sound of.  Flours empty of nutritional value are something I really don’t like to use, and I spend time on any new or unfamiliar recipe figuring out how to get the most nutrition and flavour into the flour base before proceeding.

Clafoutis, a traditional French dish from the Limousin region, is essentially a baked custard with fruit (cherries, in fact – the appearance of any other fruit actually transforms it into a ‘Flaugarde’). It is easily made into a gluten free treat, as many versions make use of ground almonds, a very nutrient dense ‘flour’. Almond flour happens to be one of my favourites, along with sorghum, another nutrient rich flour. These two flours form the basis of the simple batter for my take on gluten free clafoutis:

Gluten free clafoutis with raspberries

1 1/2 cups – 2 cups of raspberries (the original Limousin version uses cherries, but it’s possible to make a delicious clafoutis with stone fruits and berries, as well as pears)
75 grams ground almonds / almond ‘flour’
2 tbs sorghum flour
5 tbs golden or brown sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
250 ml table cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Butter a baking or shallow gratin dish. Scatter with washed fruit. Combine remaining ingredients in a blender or mix rapidly by hand taking care to mix liquid into dry ingredients slowly so as to avoid clumping. Pour batter over fruit and bake in a 375F oven for approx 25-30 minutes or until the clafoutis has risen and browned lightly. Serve warm sprinkled with icing sugar.

There are many recipes for clafoutis that I consulted when putting together my own, but the BBC’s Fruit & Almond Clafoutis most closely resembles the final recipe.

Earlier this summer we had so many raspberries that we managed to freeze some and put them away for future enjoyment. Definitely one of the real gifts of summer.

Raspberries for the freezer
Raspberries for the freezer

Summer’s swift passage

Still here, even if the apple blossoms aren’t

Apple blossom

It’s that time of year when everything seems to be on fast-forward. Blink and you miss it.

I didn’t miss the apple blossoms this year, but I never got around to sharing them here. I’ve been okay with that; life is for living first, everything else is gravy.

If I’m honest, the blog will continue to be quiet at least until the end of June, and then I’m hoping / planning to pick up the pace again.

Wishing you all the best and hoping you are able to take time to ‘smell the apple blossoms’ or the equivalent for your part of the world.