Early morning sunshine – Richard’s view

November 28, 2013 by · Comments Off on Early morning sunshine – Richard’s view
Filed under: France 

The early mornings here at Mas De Flory have been beautiful for the last couple of weeks. Our cycling holiday guests don’t get to see the frost and the sun at such low angles, as our season runs from May to September. Unfortunately it’s very difficult to capture that beauty on camera, as you might be able to tell from the pictures below.

There’s lots of low cloud and mist in the valleys. When the sun is at the right angle it can make the low cloud and mist look like rivers are flowing across the landscape in impossible ways.
I haven’t managed to capture that yet!

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This was taken directly into the sun, which means colours are washed out, but it does pick up some of the atmosphere.

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This one has some colour, but not  a lot of atmosphere!

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The horse lives in the field adjacent to Mas de Flory and wandered over to see what I was up to – or more likely wondered if I had anything interesting to offer as food.

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Flossie enjoys her early morning walks, whatever the weather!

I have another pic of Flossie, taken earlier that morning. She was going flat out pursuing a deer across the field in front of me, but I was too slow to capture the deer being chased, so unless you know the deer is there (just out of shot) it’s not a particularly interesting photo! Next time……

Apples Galore at Mas de Flory

November 1, 2013 by · Comments Off on Apples Galore at Mas de Flory
Filed under: France 

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It’s apple time at Mas de Flory!

All the apple trees around here are in full fruit at the moment and  we have been  gathering and using them as best we can! Not all the trees are necessarily our own…     but we hate to see the apples going to waste!

So here are a couple of examples of recent baking days:

Tarte Tatin – apple halves baked in butter and sugar with a  buttery puff pastry topping, which is then turned topsy-turvey when it comes out of the oven to reveal delicious dark caramelised softened fruit that now sits on the crisp, flaky base. Served with home made vanilla ice cream – yum!

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Next up is Apple and Almond Cake

A really moist, light sponge made with ground almonds and no flour – so gluten-free as a bonus! It’s filled and topped with apple slices sweetened with a little bit of  local honey.

Here’s the recipe if you want to try it:

200g unsalted butter
200g cater sugar
280 g ground almonds
3 large eggs
pinch of salt
tspn cinnamon
pot of Greek yogurt (150g)
4 or 5 medium apples

Heat the oven to 200 c (180 fan) and butter and base-line a 22cm spring-form cake tin (or loose-bottomed tin.

Put the butter and sugar in a in a large mixing bowl and use an electric whisk (or standing electric mixer) to beat until they turn pale, light and fluffy.
In another small bowl whisk the eggs together and gradually add them to the butter and sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.
Mix in the Greek yogurt
Now mix together the almonds, salt and cinnamon and fold them into the batter.
Mix until the batter is smooth and then pour into the prepared tin.

Meanwhile peel, core and slice the apples into fairly fine slices. Toss them in a bowl with some lemon juice and a good teaspoon of honey.
Lay the slices neatly in circles on top of the batter (or just pile them on!).
Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 170C(150 fan) and leave for a further 45 minutes, or until the cake is set and is just coming away from the sides of the tin. Allow the cake to cool down in the tin and then turn out and drizzle with another teaspoon of honey.

Best served warm with more Greek yogurt or double cream!

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