Flavours of Algonquin Park – Desserts in the outback

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Nature’s bounty

Paddling through Ontario has taught us the many wonders of the land, and all that it provides. The land in this province is plentiful, yielding fresh fruit and vegetables in three out of the four seasons. In our home in Algonquin Park, we are privileged to have access to this annual bounty. At VQ we honour our connection to the land that sustains us by cooking with fresh ingredients that celebrate local flavours. At our Log Cabin, every menu selection is both a unique creation and a nod to Canadian traditional cuisine. It is easy to take advantage of the local produce when fresh fruit makes such tasty treats. Guests can explore the beautiful wilderness around Surprise Lake while enjoying the relaxing and cozy atmosphere of the Log Cabin, enjoying the comfort of a home-cooked meal prepared by our talented chef Nikoline.

Desserts at the Log Cabin

The flavours and colours of Algonquin have inspired many creative people, including Anne Langford, sister of our director John. In her food memoir With Love and Sugar, she describes the Voyageur Quest log cabin as a “gem,” and says: “nothing beats a delicious meal (cooked by the log cabin chef – even better) after a cocktail cruise in a giant canoe. Excellent food is always on the menu here.” Anne should know what she is talking about, given she is a dessert connoisseur and a long-time Algonquin Park canoeist. She has taken inspiration from the VQ Log Cabin and Algonquin park in the curation of three recipes in her book, all of which are regular items on our Log Cabin menu.

Below you will find the recipe for one of those desserts – the Blackberry Clafoutis. We would keep it a secret because we love it so much, but its too good not to share. Enjoy the sweet taste of blackberries and the earthy cornmeal pastry this season, and imagine loon calls and sunrise paddles. Instead of imagining, come join us at the Log Cabin for a full menu of equally delicious items.

Blackberry Clafoutis – from With Love and Sugar by Anne Langford

Serves 8-10

What you need:

1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups blackberries (1 pint)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9-inch baking pan, square or round.
  2. Sift cornmeal, then sift it again with baking powder and salt. Sifting removes any coarse grit in cornmeal.
  3. Beat butter and 1 cup sugar together with mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Stir in cornmeal mixture, then beat in eggs and vanilla until well blended.
  5. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  6. Toss berries gently with lemon juice and sprinkle over batter.
  7. Mix remaining tablespoon sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over berries.
  8. Bake in middle of oven 50 minutes to an hour, until a tester comes out clean and the top is crusty. The berries will sink to the bottom during baking.
  9. Serve warm on the dock but watch out for chipmunks with a nose for blackberries.


If you enjoyed this recipe, check out Anne’s wonderful food memoir, With Love and Sugar. You can order it here.