When going to French restaurants or bakeries throughout the year, I definitely notice a change as the seasons roll by. If you are new to France and would like to know what fruits are in season, here is a handy spreadsheet. Of course, you will be able to tell when the tomatoes smell like nothing in the winter, or when other fruits disappear completely at other times of the year. It’s not a bad thing. Eating seasonally tastes better, is generally less expensive, and is better for the environment.
Back to France – When winter comes along, I tend to see more cheesy, potato filled dishes on menus. Cabbagey potées abound. I look forward to spring to see different fruits and vegetables at the supermarkets (I went wild this strawberry season), but summer is my favorite. Aside from the fact that I could happily overdose on tomatoes or zucchinis, summer means all sorts of delicious fruits!
You tend to see clafoutis a lot in the summertime. Clafoutis is a flan-like cake traditionally made with fresh cherries. Pits and all. My first time eating this was at a nice restaurant to mark a dating anniversary my husband and I had. I remember thinking, “Yum, this is great” then… “uhh…what do I do with these cherry pits in my mouth?” The answer is to discreetly put them aside. I prefer the “in with the spoon, out with the spoon” method. 😛
The recipe I have today is another one of my mother in law’s recipes (don’t worry, I’ll get her to divulge her cassoulet recipe come cold weather ^_^). It is my preferred way to have the fresh fruits of the season.
I’ve made this in a whole format, and in mini tartelettes – temperature is the same, but cooking time is shortened. Today I’m sharing a beautiful peach version. Please note that this is small portion, I used a 9×5 in (23×15 cm) dish. If you double the recipe, use 3 eggs instead of 2.
Gâteau aux Pêches (or other fruits)
- 2 large peaches (or 300 g other fruits – cherries or mirabelle plums are perfect for this)
- 150 g flour (4.4 oz)
- 80 g sugar (~3 oz)
- 6 g baking powder (1 tsp)
- 62ml vegetable oil or butter: I use oil because I find it easier to work with (1/4 cup)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- some splashes of milk – just until the recipe is as wet as a regular cake batter
- Preheat oven to 200c (400f)
- Mix all ingredients except for the fruit. If using butter, cream with sugar and egg before adding to dry mixture.
- Slice peaches into semi thin slices. Arrange into baking dish (or tartelette dishes) and pour batter over.
- If making 6 tartelettes, bake for 20 minutes. If baking in 9×5 pan, bake for 35 minutes.
- Up the sugar to 100 g if using cherries or mirabelle plums, to compensate for the tartness.
- I use almond milk instead of regular, because I like the taste.
- If anyone has used a sugar substitute with this, such as applesauce or mashed banana – let me know how it goes!
- Goes great with ice cream 😉