|white peaches in batter infused with fresh lavender|
|baked in gratin dishes|
White peaches and lavender are synonymous with the fruits and scent of summer. They firmly have me grounded in the here and now, not letting my mind wander to other times and places I may be tempted to go to escape the summer heat. The lavender patch along the front walkway of the house also conspires with an eye-catching display. The bees are noticing the bright purple blossoms; so do I. The seasonal forces of nature are in full swing. I feel compelled to look for ways to showcase these summer delights: the luscious peach and the floral note of lavender. A peach lavender clafoutis (a recipe from Diana Henry) seems ideal to bring out the best taste of the two ingredients together more than they’d on their own individually.
Clafoutis, a sort of fruit flan, usually consists of cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a fairly thick batter. This recipe does not resemble or taste like the classic cherry clafoutis. The peach flavor is much lighter. The scent of lavender adds another sensory appeal. If you love the smell of lavender, you’d surely appreciate this. Diana Henry’s recipe calls for lavender honey which I don’t have. Plain honey was used instead and without sacrifying much. I used a few extra sprigs of fresh lavender and infused them in cream, milk and honey for about 20 minutes. I may have gone overboard with more lavender than was needed. The smell of the herb was front and center! I need to restrain myself when it comes to lavender; sometime less is more.
There are three straightforward steps in making the clafoutis. First, saute the peaches to soften them. Next, make the batter by combining eggs, sugar, flour and the lavender infused milk. Last, assemble the peaches in a buttered gratin dish, fill it with the batter, then bake.
I prepared several small gratin dishes with a single piece of peach in each of them and a larger gratin with five pieces of peach. Filled the dishes with the batter until they were three-quarter full and baked them. The winsome small clafoutis dishes appeal to the eye. In terms of taste, the larger gratin wins, with a satisfying balance of fruit to batter. The toasted almonds on top add a nice crunch to this delectable and beautiful dessert. My summer season would be incomplete without making this clafoutis, at least a few more times.
|toasted almonds add a nice crunch|