Almost two years ago now my friends and I took advantage of an invitation to a wedding, held the bottom of the south island, to pack our bags, load the cars and set off on a road trip to explore the beauty that lies at our doorstep. I had slept very little the night before, returning late from Christmas celebrations and rising early to bake savoury scones for the long journey ahead. And so there we were, Boxing Day morning, still drowsy and still full of Christmas and on the road heading due south.
It is amazing how one and a half thousand kilometres on the road brings with it such varied landscapes and such a diverse offering of natural bounty. Snapper which are found in abundance in our temperate north island waters give way to blue cod and whitebait (much to our delight) as we move further south and the waters get colder. Ranunculus bloom into Peonies and apple trees into cherries and we stop often to load up the car with summer bounty. Soaring cliffs drop sharply into deep ravines filled with white foamy water and the colours which whizz by my passenger window are beautifully muted, almost as if straight from an oil canvas.
These little cherry tarte tatin are inspired by this journey. They herald the arrival of summer and make fantastic wee nibbles for any festive occasion.