We went shopping yesterday morning...

not for glad rags on Sloane Street, only food shopping round our local supermarket in Pulborough! I had got my list with me- only way not to get too distracted and piling up too much in the trolley!!- but when we passed the "reduced" shelf, 3 punnets of apricots were crying for mercy. I saved 2 of them and a bunch of (English?) asparagus too (for less than £1, so that's allowed).

You see, I spotted the apricots and it took me back YEARS. We used to have apricot tree in the back garden, along with a "normal" cherry tree, a Morello cherry tree,  white peach tree (my favourite) and one or 2 others. I remember picking bright orange, soft, velvety apricots from the tree and eating them there and then...they smelt fabulous, and tasted even better, slightly warm and meltingly juicy.

I saw those apricots yesterday, they looked nearly as good, but guess what...didn't taste quite like the ones from the tree! They were nice though, so this morning (yes, I KNOW), I made a apricot and almond clafoutis "style" cake (found 3 packs of ground almonds in the dry stuff cupboard when we reschuffled all the stuff in there yesterday, after the trip to the supermarket, some of it HAD to go!).

I had some fresh ginger too and needed to use it before it went all wrinkly and dry.....apricots and ginger? and WHY NOT.

And so this Sunday's pudding was born...

Apricots and almonds clafoutis style cake with creme fraiche and ginger syrup

The base recipe for the clafoutis is taken from a French recipe site, Marmiton, where I found a recipe for a blackberries and almonds clafoutis. I was looking for inspiration for a 3 course menu for the "Cook of the Year" competition, but I digress...

Backtracking a bit more (I know, my line of thoughts is somewhat erratic, but stay with me) the reason why I was thinking of apricots is the latest Royal Food Joust from the Leftoverqueen herself..or one of her followers :)

Now you know all there is to know I hope.

Anyway, this it really is an easy recipe, and you can make it using loads of other fruits too (blackberries indeed, raspberries, peaches, nectarines, pears....)....

6-7 apricots
3 eggs
150g of ground almonds
100g of unsalted butter, melted and warm+a little knob for greasing your dish
40g of cornflour
20cl of double cream
20cl of milk
2 tablespoons of Dark Rhum (optional)
a handful of sliced almonds (optional)
1 pinch of salt
100g of caster sugar+a little extra to sprinkle in your dish
for serving...
1 small pot of creme fraiche (please, not the low fat one if you can avoid it)
100g of caster sugar
100ml of water
1inch of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until you get a pale fluffy mixture
add the cream, then the milk, the almonds, the cornflour, the rhum, and the butter.
Mix well into a smooth batter.
Take a gratin dish, butter it well then sprinkle with caster sugar.
Wash and cut the apricots in halves,
place the fruits on the bottom of the gratin dish...
and bake at 180 degres for 10 to 15 minutes
remove from the oven,
pour the batter over the fruits,
sprinkle the top with sliced almonds and a little caster sugar 9abotu 2 tablespoons)
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until just firm to the touch.

Leave to cool....

and make the SYRUP...

in a small saucepan, pour the caster sugar and water
mix then add the slices of ginger.
Heat until boiling point, stir a  little then reduce by half until you get a syrupy consistency (at that stage, the sugar syrup should be boiling hard but not coloured yet)
Leave to cool.

To serve, put a slice of cake on a plate, top with a GENEROUS spoonfull of creme fraiche and drizzle with ginger syrup....

Leftover apricots:? Halve them and place them in a small saucepan with the leftover ginger syrup and 1/2 glass of water. Cook gently until soft then purée and use with yoghurts, ice cream,on cereals,....freezes well too :)

PS: for more info on the Royal Food Joust, to find loads of recipes using apricots, butter and ginger, or to VOTE for my yummy recipe to WIN ....a Royal Food Joust badge "et le droit d'etre connue"!!! see HERE