In May, when the strawberries start to ripen, our thoughts turn to sweet, scrumptious desserts. In France, as in the UK, strawberries are a firm favourite, a taste of sunny days and summer breezes.
Inspired by French classic strawberry desserts, these super easy to make recipes for Strawberry Pie and Strawberry clafoutis are mouth-wateringly delicious and quite irresistible.
Ingredients for 4 strawberry lovers!
75ml fresh milk, full-fat
75ml single cream
1 vanilla pod, halved and seeds scraped out
1 large free-range eggs
50g caster sugar
125g fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half
Icing sugar, to sprinkle
1 Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Butter a medium gratin dish or 4 small ramekins.
2 Pour the milk, cream, vanilla pod and the seeds into a saucepan; bring to the boil and then take off the heat and allow to infuse for around two hours.
3 Beat the eggs and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until thick and frothy, add the corn flour and continue to beat until smooth.
4 Remove the vanilla pod from the milk and cream mix and pour into the egg mixture, whisking all the time.
5 Arrange the fresh strawberries in the buttered dish/dishes and then the custard over the top. Place the dish into the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the custard is golden brown and set in the middle.
6 Sprinkle icing sugar over the top and serve just warm or at room temperature with cream and fresh strawberries.
Strawberry and cream Pie
Ingredients: serves 6
1 packet of shortcrust pastry
240 ml whipping cream
40g cup caster sugar
500g strawberries, halved
1 Bake the shortcrust pastry blind. Let it cool.
2 Whisk the cream until it starts to thicken and then add the caster sugar. Keep whisking until the cream is fluffy.
3 When the pastry is cool, spread the whipped cream on the bottom, then arrange the strawberries as prettily as you can on top.
The famous Tarte Flambée, or Flammekueche as it’s known in Alsace where the dish originates, is a French classic. A literal translation is a “flaming pie” but it’s neither. It’s a cross between a tart and a pizza, you don’t flambee it - and it’s very easy to make at home. Mouth-wateringly moreish, choose your favourite toppings and get stuck in!
Tarte Flambée dough
260g/9oz All-purpose flour
150ml/5 fl oz water at room temperature
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Teaspoon salt
It’s very easy to make. And, you don’t need to wait for the dough to rise which makes it very quick to prepare.
Make the dough with a mixer or by hand. Mix the flour, oil, and salt in a large bowl and stir to together. Slowly stir in the water and knead for a couple minutes. Leave in a bowl, covered with a cloth of cling film while you prepare the topping.
Tarte Flambée topping
1 medium onion
3-4 strips streaky bacon or 120g lardons ( 4 oz)
120g/4oz crème fraiche
½ Teaspoon salt
Optional: Handful of grated cheese, handful of thinly sliced mushrooms, handful of sliced spiced sausage (cooked) or whatever topping you like.
Preheat oven to 500˚F/ 260 degrees/ gas mark 10
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel and chop the onion into very thin slices and sweat them on a low heat with a knob of butter for 5 minutes but don’t brown them.
Cut the bacon strips into 1/4-inch-thick strips (or use lardons) and fry gently but don’t brown them.
Mix the sour cream, salt, pepper with a tiny sprinkle of nutmeg in a small bowl and stir.
Roll the dough out on a floured work surface and cut to fit your baking tray.
Spread the sour cream mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
Sprinkle with the onions and bacon lardons. And if you’re using them, sprinkle with other ingredients ending with the cheese.
Bake for between 12-18 minutes – the pastry edges should be golden and crispy.
Eat immediately. Preferably with a glass of Alsace wine.
Love French food? See our recipes for:
French pancakes – crepes and galettes, simply irresistible
Mont Saint-Michel is a French icon. An island of medieval buildings topped by a gravity-defying abbey, it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in France. It’s also legendary for a restaurant called Mère Poulard where they’ve been cooking omelettes over an open fire to the same recipe since 1887. They’re memorable, moreish and mouth-wateringly good.
If you’d like to make one at home, we can’t share the exact recipe, it’s a secret the restaurant keeps to itself but here’s our take on Mere Poulard’s famous omelette…
Ingredients for one large omelette
12 cl of crème fraiche
Salt and pepper
40 g of butter
Optional: Mushrooms, cheese and lardons
Whip the eggs on low speed for 5 minutes then add the crème fraiche and for another 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
Melt butter in a non-stick frying pan and pour egg mixture into the hot pan. If you want to add cheese, sprinkle it on top as the omelette is cooking.
Cook slowly for about 5 minutes, the surface should be slightly liquid still – then fold in half. If you're adding fried mushrooms and lardons, add them before you fold.
Serve immediately while it’s still hot, with a green salad and/or fried potatoes.
If you love French food – check out our delicious recipe for cheese gougères!
Locronan, Brittany by Allison Albrecht
French pancakes come in two different forms, the crêpe which is thin and paired with sweet or savoury fillings, and the galette which is thicker and usually savoury.
Pancakes have been around for millennia, it’s though they were being enjoyed at least as far back as 7000BC in a very similar way to how we like them today.
Creperies are common in France, cafés specialising in the cooking of pancakes but they’re also super easy to make at home.
Ingredients for 6-8 crêpes
125g (3/4 cup) plain flour
pinch of salt
1 medium egg
300ml (10.14 oz) milk
25g (2 tablespoons) melted butter
How to make crepes
1. Mix flour and salt in a basin, make a hollow in the centre and drop in the egg. Stir with a wooden spoon and add the milk gradually, until all the flour is worked in.
2. Beat well and add remaining milk and the melted butter.
3. The consistency should be like single cream.
4. Cooking: For each pancake, heat a small amount of butter in a frying pan. When it begins to smoke, stir the batter and pour approximately 3 tablespoons into the frying pan. When golden brown underneath, turn and cook other side.
5. Serving: Turn out on greaseproof paper, sprinkle with sugar and roll up or fold into quarters. Place on a hot dish and serve immediately with honey, jam, syrup, a squeeze of lemon or orange, fresh fruit, cream or any topping of your choice
Pancakes keep well in the refrigerator and can be frozen.
Made with buckwheat, these pancakes are specialities of northern France and especially Brittany. On their own they’re rather plain but they pair perfectly with ham, eggs, cheese, vegetables, salad, sausages and all sorts!
Ingredients For 4 pancakes
200g buckwheat flour
1 egg beaten
30g melted butter or 2 tablespoons olive oil
How to make galettes
1. Sieve the flour into a bowl, add the salt.
2. Add the water, milk and melted butter (or oil), beaten egg and whisk until you have a smooth creamy mix.
3. Leave to rest for a couple of hours (overnight in the fridge is best).
4. Put a lightly buttered/oiled non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and pour in some of the pancake mix. Gently cook for 2-3 minutes then flip the pancake over (or use a spatula although it’s not as much fun).
Fill with filling of your choice – bacon and eggs, cheese and ham, mushrooms, onions, whatever you like.
While we’re all staying at home to beat the virus, we thought you might like to make some classic French dishes for a taste of France. First up, the perfect snack or starter, cheesy gougères are easy to make and very moreish. Like little cheesy balloons, they’re crisp on the outside and deliciously fluffy on the inside.
Recipe for 36 gougères
25g unsalted butter
1 Teaspoon sugar
2 Teaspoons salt
4-5 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
120g coarsely grated Gruyère
25g coarsely grated Parmesan
How to make perfect gougères
Heat the oven to 425°F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment.
Place the milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt in a pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. The mixture will form a thick mass. Keep stirring for another two minutes to dry the mixture out. Remove from heat.
Add eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition until each egg is incorporated. By the fourth egg, the mixture should have a smooth, glossy consistency. If not, stir in a fifth egg. Add ¾ of the grated Gruyère.
Drop heaped spoonfuls of dough about 2 inches apart onto lined baking sheets. Combine remaining Gruyère and Parmesan; sprinkle over tops of dough.
Bake 15 minutes, reduce heat to 375°F, and continue baking until evenly golden, about another 15 minutes.
Best eaten warm!
Serves 2 hungry people
1kg fresh mussels
3 large spring onions
1 large shallot, peeled and halved
1 carrot, peeled and halved lengthways
2 large garlic cloves peeled
1 small bunch of thyme (thin stalks not thick stalks)
Handful flat leaf parsley leaves
100ml olive oil
150ml dry white wine
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
Tip the mussels into a large bowl of cold water. Discard any that remain open when tapped. Drain and remove any beards. Fresh mussels are black and shiny and should smell pleasantly of the deep sea and the majority should be tightly closed. Chuck out any that smell fishy, look dry or are already open.
Thinly slice the vegetables and garlic.
Place a large, heavy-based lidded pan with a lid, on a high heat. Pour in the oil and add the vegetables and thyme. The thyme sprigs will crackle if the pan is hot enough. Cook for about 2 minutes stirring the vegetables.
With the heat still on high, add the mussels and shake the pan so they form an even layer. Cover with a lid and cook for another 2 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice.
Pour in the wine, shake and cook for another 1½ minutes so the wine reduces by half, then cover again and cook for another minute. Place a large colander over a bowl and tip the mussels and vegetables into the centre. Chuck out any mussels that remain closed.
Return the strained liquid to the pan, reheat and stir in the creme fraiche and parsley leaves. Return the mussels and vegetables to the pan to reheat.
Serve with chips, and a hunk of bread…
Did you know that apart from having one of the best and biggest French holiday rental sites, at French Connections we also list houses for sale?
We list apartments and villas, gites and cottages, plots of land, farmhouses and even chateaux for sale in all areas of France.
Join thousands of happy customers who have sold and bought their homes through French Connections.
If you want to sell your French House, we make it very easy for you to reach an engaged audience. With both English and French speakers on our team, we will help you at every stage of the process. And we’ll even help you create your ad on our site – of course at no extra cost. We make it all very simple, speedy and straightforward – and very economical too.
Simply list your property, add as many photos as you like (or videos) and your contact details on our site and we’ll host your listing until you sell your home.
If you’re looking for your dream home in France whether it’s for holidays, an investment or permanent move – we can help you.
We have lots of helpful free information from buying a house to estate planning, mortgages, property types and more.
And we have thousands of houses listed for sale all over France.
When you’re looking for an ideal property, you want choice - and we can offer that by the bucket load. Simply click on to our property for sale page, choose the area where you want to buy a property, choose your budget and the number of bedrooms you want, and search for your dream French home.
France is a great place to live. The quality of life is good, the roads are a joy to drive on and in many parts the weather is better than the UK! So it's no surprise that more and more people are buying property in France.
If there’s a home that grabs your attention, you’ll find full contact details so you can set up a viewing, ask questions and find out more.