Peach flaugnarde

July 31, 2011 § 9 Comments

The last few weeks have been extraordinarily hard for me; all this beautiful fruit has been appearing in the farmer’s market and my mother has expressly forbade me from baking with any of it. I mean, I love eating peaches out of hand, but still, bakers gotta bake, you know? However, today she is at work, which means those last three peaches from last week’s haul that were hiding in the refrigerator are ALL MINE!

Instead of just eating the peaches, because then there really wouldn’t be much to talk about here (“I went to the fridge. I pulled out a peach. I eated it!”), I finally got to make a clafoutis. Except, you may be wondering, why is this post called peach flaugnarde?

Strictly speaking a clafoutis (kla-foo-TEE) is only made in Limoges, France, from sour black cherries, and anything else made from fruit with a custardy-cakey topping is a flaugnarde (flow-NYARD), though even other French people still call a flaugnarde made from any kind of cherry a clafoutis, most likely to the dismay of the culinarily-inclined of Limoges.

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Hokey pokey

July 14, 2011 § 10 Comments

How many of you started humming the song after reading the title?

Don’t worry though, I won’t make you dance the hokey pokey while on rollerskates, which, if you were curious, is one of my more obscure talents thanks to a local roller rink (that has since closed) featuring it at every birthday party and skating night of my childhood.

As exciting as the dance on rollerskates may be, culinarily speaking hokey pokey is, according to Nigella Lawson, the Cornish term for honeycomb candy, a delightful sugarbomb of a confection that doesn’t contain any honey. Perhaps the candy is named for honeycomb because of the air pockets in it?

My dad is from Cornwall so I asked him if he’d ever heard of hokey pokey, and he said he knew of the dance, but not the term for the candy, so perhaps it’s a term that predates World War II — my dad said that the hokey pokey dance was brought to Cornwall by US GIs during the war and I speculate that the catchiness of the tune pushed the candy nickname out of favor. It is also known as treacle toffee and by many other poetic names worldwide, such as sponge candy and sea foam. « Read the rest of this entry »

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