Thursday, December 2, 2010

Taste Marlborough Cherries

The pick of the bunch is now available in Marlborough, cherries that is.  With early crops getting off to a good start, the sunshine hours up and settled weather it could very well be a good year for the notorious fickle cherry season.   So what’s up mother nature?  – the 1 st of December is the official start of summer, we have not have the winds buffering us (yet), the rain has stayed away and the daily temperatures have been some of the best in NZ. 
The key is not to overpromise and end up under delivering,  there is fine line to walk with growing and producing from the land and Farmers’ Markets NZ is about to celebrate the real food producers of NZ by patting those people on the back that walk the walk.    The awareness (or concern) of what’s in our food and growing demand for regional, unadulterated food and  produce, and the investment into local resources, combined with good old nostalgia and supporting community ideals are just a few of the influences causing Farmers’ Markets to flourish in New Zealand.
Taste Magazine, Website provider Marketground and FMNZ have teamed up to shine the spotlight on the very best that is growing in our back yard  - Taste magazine is a great-value monthly food magazine for New Zealanders who love to cook. Every issue is packed with recipes and food ideas that are fresh, seasonal and easy to follow.  Farmers’ Markets are the weekly shopping destination that allows us as consumers to support and purchase local foods from our regions.
Marlborough Cherries are still the best, even through Otago and Hawkes Bay seem to think that it is all about them, however you just cannot compete with the Marlborough Sunshine and growing conditions that have made our region world famours for not only wine but also our fruits and vegetables that we celebrate on the dinner table every week

Cherry Clafoutis is an easy, delicious, traditional French dessert made at the height of cherry season. As perfect as this treat is with cherries, feel free to use another fruit – berries, sauteed apples or pears, sliced peaches – in place of the cherries if you're so inclined.
500g cherries
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
1/8 tsp. salt
Icing Sugar (optional)
Preparation: Heat oven to 180 degrees cC. Butter a baking pan that's about 9x13 and rinse the cherries. Pit the cherries; as you pit them, put the pitted cherries in the buttered pan.
Put the eggs and milk in a blender and whirl to combine. Add flour, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whizz until well combined. Pour mixture over cherries.  Bake clafoutis until puffed and browned, about 30-45 mins. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with icing sugar, if you like.

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