When I first started writing, it was for my love of fiction. Of course I kept a diary, as I think the majority of pre-teen girls do, but I didn’t love documenting my days, though I did it regularly, sometimes sneaking into the bathroom late at night, armed with my diary and a pen, when I woke, suddenly, realizing I’d forgotten my daily entry. But these entries — plans for my future, stories about my day, angry diatribes about the things I wasn’t allowed to do (listen to Z100 radio and watch Nickelodeon… profound injustices, really. [Love you, Mom!]) — were nothing compared to the stories I made up in my head.
I created romances that eerily mirrored the ones I wished for in my own life. I created magical lands of friendly, other-worldly spirits-slash-aliens, which helped me fall asleep when I went through a period of being scared of the dark… at fourteen. (While this is neither here nor there, my poor Actress sister, with whom I shared a room at the time, had to endure several months of me sleeping with the desk light on and playing the French Kiss soundtrack over and over, my version of a lullaby. Eventually, she told me to memorize a movie and play it in my head. To this day, I can recite the first 20 minutes of Legally Blonde off by heart.)
But fiction. We were talking about fiction. Fiction was my first love, the reason I was drawn to words and writing. I read books voraciously, and when I ran out of things to read, I created my own stories on paper and read those instead.
All that to say, sorry, reader, that I’ve been absent the past few days. My first love has been calling, and my novel has been the focus of my energy, although with all the actual work and school work I have, it should be the last thing on my mind. But like those diary entries that woke me at 2 in the morning, sometimes it’s at the least likely moments that inspiration calls.
Until then, please make some clafoutis. This is actually technically a flognarde, as is any clafoutis not made with cherries. Until cherries are in season, I’ve been alternating thin slices of green apple or prunes. Both versions are delicious; the Country Boy gave his approval by offering the following suggestion: “Use a bigger dish.”
Apple Clafoutis (Flognarde) (makes 4 small clafoutis, which is perfect for those who like to eat two desserts, like some members of my household)
1/3 cup (40 grams) flour
2/3 cup (160 grams) milk
1/8 cup (25 grams) sugar
1 tsp. vanilla (Note: if I were making this for a cinnamon-loving crowd, I would swap the vanilla for cinnamon in the apple version. Unfortunately, cinnamon is not a crowd-pleaser chez Emiglia)
1 pinch salt
2 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. butter, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl, sift the flour and slowly whisk in half of the milk. Add the egg, sugar, vanilla or cinnamon and salt, and whisk until well combined. Add the last of the milk and set aside.
Prepare your apples in thin slices (the thinner the better — this doesn’t bake for very long.) Lay the slices evenly amongst four ramekins. Divide the batter evenly amongst them. Top each of the ramekins with thin slices of butter. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the clafoutis have puffed up and begin to brown around the edges. As soon as you remove them from the oven, they will fall. Serve warm or cold (not hot). Wait for inspiration.