We spent a week in Limousin last week, a much needed relaxing break after a few crazy months of working too much, making a lot of jewellery and generally not finding a lot of time to sit still. We went to the land of clafoutis, madeleines, pottery and cows. Limousin is very sleepy - lots of small towns and even smaller villages and hamlets tucked in to the rolling hills and next to winding streams and rivers.
We ate reasonably well, being with a vegetarian in France is a little tough and we planned to eat more in the gite (for budget reasons too) so we made good use of the local shops for this. We ate a lot of cheese and bread, as was my target and expectation. There is an excellent bakery in Saint Yrieux la Perche called Tartine which I would highly recommend - otherwise most other places you'll go will be great anyway!
I was keen to get back in the kitchen, and spend some time recreating local dishes and French classics. We had tartiflette one evening (minus the bacon for the veggie) and I tried my hand at the local speciality of clafoutis. Traditionally it is made with cherries, but I fancied peaches after we bought some gorgeous ones at the local supermarket.
I didn't realise just how easy clafoutis would be! I had pretty limited kitchen equipment - no scales, a tiny whisk and a casserole was to be my mixing bowl. I baked the clafoutis in a gorgeous old metal tart tin and it didn't stick!
I went for this adaption of a Julia Child recipe - an American recipe (mon dieu!) because I could estimate about what a cup would be, and use the teacups we had in the house. It worked out just fine, the only change was that I added 1 tsp of baking powder to ensure puffiness.
I sliced peaches with the skins still on and arranged them artfully(ish) on the top after one layer of the batter had cooked in the oven for a few minutes - this ensures the fruit doesn't sink. Once the second layer was baked I sprinkled the still warm clafoutis with sugar and left to cool slightly.
Limousin was a very lovely holiday destination, if a little quiet, but if you want to force yourself to do little then it is a great place to unwind, eat too much bread and cheese. :)