September days have the warmth of summer in their briefer hours, but in their lengthening evenings a prophetic breath of autumn. The cricket chirps in the noontide, making the most of what remains of his brief life. The bumblebee is busy among the clover blossoms of the aftermath, and their shrill and dreamy hum hold the outdoor world above the voices of the song birds, now silent or departed.August ended on a bright, balmy and estival note, but as we were entering September the weather decided to take an abrupt turn when summer silently sneaked out through the back door like some secret lover on a undercover mission. Without much fuss, it shyly bid us farewell and quietly tiptoed away; as if its joyful presence and warm embrace had not mattered to us, it eclipsed itself, never to be seen again.
- September Days by Rowland E. Robinson, Vermont.
A combination is of crickets - crows - and retrospects
And a dissembling breeze
That hints without assuming -
An innuendo sear
That makes the heart put up its fun
And turn philosopher.
- Emily Dickinson, September's Baccalaureate
Autumn, that artfully cheeky little opportunist of a trickster swiftly and discretely replaced our beloved summer and immediately made itself comfortable. Similarly to a fearsome king marking his territory, fall entered the scene dramatically and imperially. Fierce thunderbolts, tempestuous northern winds and torrents of water accompanied his boisterous arrival.
October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!The change was so unexpected and radical that it shocked us all. Now that capricious october has fully kicked in and Samhain is nearing, thick fog blankets obscure the sky till noon, the world is filled with chilly warmth (temperatures rarely reach 18°C/64° F in the afternoon), sun rays gracefully bathe the landscapes in a golden glow, light's decline is becoming more palpable every evening, melancholic quietness fills the air, snow returns to the mountains and suddenly, I find myself craving comforting casseroles as well as warm drinks and prefer to sit indoors rather than on my balcony (unless it is for a short coffee break - in order to aerate my head).
- Rainbow Rowell, Attachments
You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.
- Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
Despite being an unconditional admirer of the fiery season, it is with a heavy heart and a lot of nostalgy that I mourn the death of our late radiant and frivolous dandy. We had so much fun in each other's company, however our time together was far too short. Hence it is difficult to accept the fact that, after barely 8 weeks of continuous heat and sunshine, the grim and colder days are once more back and we'll have to wait another long 6 to 7 months before we can frolick in the grass and have a drink on a terrace - sans jacket, sweater or coat - again.
Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest.Anyway, this time of the year is also my favorite as it is that of the harvest and for our biggest pleasure, many sensational fruits and vegetables reappear on the market stalls. It is a period of abundance and plentifulness during which our plates are well-garnished and dishes are colorful (earthly tones of orange, brown, red, purple, yellow and green invite themselves to the dinning table), hearty as well as flavorful.
- Douglas Jerrold
One of my most cherished perennial produces is unquestionably the Swiss plum. I am totally addicted to this violet fruit and can never get enough of its incomparable exquisiteness and versatility. Unfortunately, the "prunneau" picking period doesn't last very long, so I try my best to make the most out of this delicacy while it is still available. Clafoutis, cakes, foccacie, jams, trifles, compotes, puddings, muffins, crumbles, you name it, from late August to the end of October, there isn't one dessert I'll not make with quetsches!
Sadly for me, plum cropping is slowly coming to an end and the mighty apple will soon take its turn under the spotlight and become the star in my kitchen. So in order to appropriately say goodbye to damsons (my most treasured variety), I have decided to share with you a flaugnarde (also known as flagnarde, flognarde or flougnarde) recipe inspired by the talented Jamie Schler at "Life's A Feast".
I am a big fan of this lady's fabulous bakes and delightful prose, and whenever I visit her blog a strike of creativity hits me. This generally leads me to getting into a productive state and artistic frenzy. Thus, after admiring her incredibly enticing "Flognarde (Clafoutis) Aux Pommes", ideas started to flood my brain and I felt the urge to create my own funky version of this French classic (Jamie's interpretation of it is original too).
Commonly, this speciality always contains plain flour only and apart from vanilla, another flavor is rarely added to the preparation. Anyhow, I'm a transgresser of rules who doesn't enjoy culinary rigidity or lack of imagination and it is for that very reason that I took the liberty of adding coconut flour, orange rind puree and Grand-Marnier to the batter.
My "Damson Plum Flaugnarde" turned out wonderfully and since then, I have baked it at least once a week (it is our official movie night treat). Hopefully you'll adore it as much as we do...
Damson Plum Flaugnarde
Recipe by Rosa Mayland.
Makes 1 flaugnarde - serves 4-6.
1 1/2 Cups (360ml) of Milk
3 Big (~63g) Eggs
1/4 Cup + 1 Tbs (73g) Light brown sugar
1/4 Cup Castor Sugar (53g + some extra sugar for sprinkling)
1/2 Cup (64g) All-purpose flour
2 Tbs (30g) Coconut flour
1 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
1/3 Tsp Orange rind puree
2 Tbs Orange liquor (Cointreau or Grand-Marnier)
2 Tbs Oil (neutral)
8-10 Damson plums, stoned and halfed
Icing sugar, to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 200° C (400° F).
2. Over medium heat, bring the milk to a light simmer, then set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugars until pale in color and foamy.
4. Add the flours, vanilla extract, orange rind puree, liquor and oil. Whisk until smooth.
5. Gradually whisk in the warm milk.
6. Pour the mixture into a buttered round 8-9" (20-22cm) pie dish.
7. Drop the plums into the batter and sprinkle with a little extra sugar.
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the flaugnarde is puffed and golden.
9. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.
The coconut flour can be replaced with the same amount of all-pupose flour and the brown sugar with the same quantity of castor sugar.
If you don't like orange rind or liquor, then you can use lemon zest and Limoncello instead.
Eat warm or at room temperature and serve alone or with a scoop of ice cream (vanilla, pecan, walnut, caramel, etc...).
Flaugnarde Aux Quetsches
Recette par Rosa Mayland.
Pour 1 flaugnarde, 4-6 personnes.
360ml de Lait
3 Gros (~63g) Oeufs
73g de Sucre de canne fin
53g de Sucre fin cristallisé (+ un peu de sucre supplémentaire pour saupoudrer)
64g de Farine blanche
30g de Farine de noix de coco
1 CC d'Extrait de vanille pure
1/3 CC de Zeste d'orange en purée
2 CS de Liqueur d'orange (Cointreau ou Grand-Marnier)
2 CS d'Huile (neutre)
8-10 Quetsches/prunes, dénoyautées et coupées en deux
Sucre glace, pour décorer
1. Préchauffer le four à 200 ° C.
2. À feu moyen, porter le lait à frémissement léger, puis le mettre de côté.
3. Dans un bol, fouetter ensemble les oeufs et les sucres, jusqu'à ce que le mélange soit pâle et mousseux.
4. Ajoutez les farines, l'extrait de vanille, le zeste d'orange, la liqueur et l'huile. Fouetter afin d'obtenir un consistance lisse et homogène.
5. Incorporer graduellement le lait chaud, tout en continuant de bien fouetter l'appareil.
6. Verser le mélange dans un moule à pie beurré (20-22cm).
7. Déposez les quetsches/prunes dans la pâte et saupoudrez le dessus de la flaugnarde avec un peu de sucre.
8. Cuire au four pendant 35-40 minutes, jusqu'à ce que la flaugnarde soit gonflée et dorée.
9. Saupoudrer de sucre glace et servir.
La farine de noix de coco peut être remplacée par de la farine blanche et la cassonade par du sucre fin cristallisé.
Si vous n'aimez pas le zeste ou la liqueur d'orange, alors vous pouvez utiliser du zeste de citron et du Limoncello à la place.
Suggestion de présentation:
Cette flaugnarde peut être mangée chaude ou à température ambiante et servie sans accompagnement ou avec une boule de glace (vanille, noix de pécan, noix, caramel, etc...).