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Hipster clafoutis – by Karen

14 Sep

Since trying it for the first time last year, I have been dying to make clafoutis, and this week’s topic was all the nudging I needed. It really was a worthwhile process, so I’m going to share it in some detail. While making clafoutis, I had Shakira’s Waka Waka firmly stuck in my head, so you may want to use it as a soundtrack for reading this post.

Googling for a recipe, the Julia Child one was most prominent. I wanted to go classic anyhow, or so I thought. In reality, I went HIPSTER.

First of all, the eggs, basis of any custard dessert. Backyard heritage chicken eggs, that is. Slave to the zeitgeist.

Eggs from Araucana, Sussex, Welsummer and Australorp hens

You don’t actually need that many eggs. The recipe calls for three, but I threw in one extra, because hipster eggs can be smaller than those sell-out commercial eggs.

Next comes the hipster milk. I originally photographed this a2 milk as an in-joke for Beth, not realising that the whole production would become a joke.

Like porridge, this non-savoury recipe calls for salt. Anyone who attended Beth’s Party for your Thoughts knows that fancy salt epitomises the corruption of food by the hipster. In it goes.

Not actually Himalayan. Airmiles, dontcha know. It is in fact Australian fancy salt.

I also used a vanilla pod in addition to the vanilla extract specified.

At this point the recipe calls for a blender. “Julia Child wouldn’t have used a blender!” I scoffed. Then all our electronic mixing devices were broken. Then it turned out I am no Julia Child. I used a sieve to get the lumps out.

It’s cool that this recipe, although basically custard, requires no saucepan skills. It’s poured into the pan and bunged in the oven. There is only one ambiguous bit in the recipe:

Pour a 1/4 inch layer of the batter in dish. Place in the oven until a film of batter sets in the pan.

If you check it immediately, there is no film, and there’s clearly not going to be a film for ages. Then five minutes later, it is solid and looks like this:

Bubbly and firm. Not “a film”

If any man ever reads this blog, he will just want to know what that is in the background there. It is pork belly, man. Richard made it.

Crispy pork belly

Ok, so back to the clafoutis. The point of creating the film with one quarter of the batter, I believe, is so that the cherries can be raised up upon it.

So my firm batter served the purpose:

Cherries go on

Then the rest of the batter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was really a pretty easy recipe, with ingredients most people would have lying around (presuming you’re happy to substitute the cherries for other fruit). And look! It worked!

Ready when brown and puffy!

The Pope is Catholic, and the children liked the dessert. Finn said, “can I just give my food a little cuddle before it disappears into my tummy?”

mm

mmm

Custard – by Tabitha

14 Sep

In response to Beth’s post, I would like to stand up for custard.  I agree that the so-called custard filling in products like vanilla slice or profiteroles besmirches the good name of custard, as does the store-bought variety. The real deal is the homemade stuff, and it is ridiculously easy to make. Warmed custard with sliced banana was a Carvan family dessert staple when I was growing up, and taught me that custard doesn’t have to play second fiddle as some kind of dessert accompaniment. It’s the main game, people, and a ripper of a dessert because you usually have the ingredients at hand, and it creates minimal washing up. Plus, I would say it’s not that bad for you, as far as desserts go. I think Karen would approve of it, for example.

I have already made custard since getting back to Australia, even. It’s one of Nathan’s favourite things, and on this recent occasion he ate most of it straight out of the saucepan in one sitting. Make your husbands and children happy, and go make custard right now.

  • 2 cups milk, or 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream (with cream it thickens more quickly it seems)
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla essence or extract
  • 4 egg yolks – whack the whites in the freezer to make meringue some time
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar, or even less
  1. Combine milk, and cream if using, in a small saucepan. Add vanilla seeds or flavouring. Place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until hot (do not allow to boil). Remove saucepan from heat.
  2. Whisk egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a heatproof bowl until well combined. Pour hot milk mixture over egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
  3. Wash and dry the saucepan thoroughly, or get a new one, then put the custard mixture back in and on low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes or until custard thickens and forms a coating on the back of a spoon which you can draw a line through with your finger. Don’t let it get close to boiling or it will curdle. This is the bit which people are afraid of, but it’s really pretty foolproof if you’re watchful. I usually find mine thickens within 5 minutes because I put the heat on medium and stir rapidly, because I don’t have the patience for cooking anything on low heat.  Then you pour it back into the bowl you used for whisking and serve after about five minutes or when it’s cooled. You can basically make it as far in advance as suits you. You can put Glad wrap on it to stop a skin forming, but the skin of custard is delicious, and always highly sought-after in my family.

Custard – by Beth

10 Sep

How can you be a major fan of custard? It’s so middle of the (dessert)road.

Custard tarts leave me cold. Vanilla slices are over-rated. Custard accompanying apple pie is nice, but I give the credit to the pie. My father used to have a thing for No Frills custard and would team it with crushed weetbix, sliced banana and a generous sprinkle of milo for dessert. I wonder what the custard sitch in Poland is, Justyna?

I have never made my own custard from scratch (have used Edmond’s custard powder like a good Kiwi), but I did make my own vegetable stock for the first time today. Tabitha told me of a clever method where you keep a ziplock bag in the freezer and add vegie scraps to it until it’s full and then you POUNCE on it and make a pot of stock. The making of the stock was more satisfying than the eating I’ve gotta say. The soup I made from it wasn’t the best ever. I guess it depends a lot on what vegetable scraps you put in there…I am inspired to keep going though. It felt so good to make something out of stuff that would usually go in the compost. And it smelt really good.