Monday, September 8, 2014

Pear Clafouti

There are weeks when I head for the grocery store with a recipe or idea in mind and a list of ingredients. But I often shop hoping to be inspired by something fresh and wonderful. This week, I was still thinking berries and plums but neither of my regular grocery stores had much summer fruit available. Surprise! It's fall - and it's all about apples and pears.

So I bought some nice Bosc pears - without the first notion what I would do with them. Sometime I may try the recipe I found for pear and nut stuffed pork tenderloin but this time I landed with a pear clafouti. I like to scan recipes to see what clever things others have done. Good grief, but clafouti recipes are all over the place. From 6 tablespoons of flour to 3/4 cup flour. From no butter at all to 1 stick of butter. Milk, yogurt, heavy cream, lemon juice, liqueurs. Honestly, the most constant ingredient was 3 eggs!

Clafoutis are supposed to be made with a pancake-like batter. I assume that accounts for the enormous variation. Pancakes run the gamut from crepes to American pancakes, and while the basic ingredients are flour, milk, and eggs, the amounts determine the consistency.

I went with Julia Child's basics, mostly because her measurements seemed to fall in the middle of the spectrum. And then, Julia always knows best, right? I deviated just a little bit, adding lemon juice and butter, skipping liqueur, and eliminating a step. Julia sprinkled the top with powdered sugar, which would be especially pretty. She says to throw the clafouti ingredients (minus the fruit) into a blender and to let it rip. I chose to use a mixer but either one will do.

Of course, that should suggest to you that this is a great quick dessert for unexpected company. It should be served warm with a dollop of sweetened cream, and it takes an hour to bake, so putting it in the oven just before you sit down to eat will mean it's ready for dessert exactly when you need it.

It's meant to be a rustic or casual dessert, so don't worry about the pears moving. They rise through the batter even though they start on the bottom. The scent and flavor are strongly reminiscent of something my mother used to make when I was a child but I can't quite place it. In any event, it's a lovely dessert.

Pear Clafouti

1 10-inch springform pan
(Could also be made in a 10-inch cast iron pan.)

3-4 firm, ripe pears
1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Grease the pan thoroughly.

Peel, core, and slice the pears. Place in a bowl with lemon juice and turn to coat. Lay the pear slices in the bottom of the pan.

Preheat oven to 350.

Beat the eggs with the sugar. Add the salt and flour and beat. Add milk, vanilla and butter and beat. The batter will be unbelievably thin. Pour over top of the pears. Bake for 1 hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.

And the winner of last weeks giveaway of a Mystery Lovers' Kitchen tote bag is
(drum roll, please)


Thanks to everyone who entered. Keep coming back. I have a few more!


  1. You must have been a pastry chef in another life Krista--you're outdoing yourself! xo

    1. Aww, you're so sweet. I have to admit that I like baking. Not great for my hips, though!

  2. Beautiful picture! I've been making Julia's cherry clafouti recipe since I gave the MTAOFC cookbook to myself as a college graduation present (and still use it, grease stains and all), but cherries don't have to be arranged. Your pear version sounds delicious.

    1. Thanks, Sheila! I'm sure apples would be wonderful, too!

  3. Krista, I love pear desserts and this one looks so wonderful. I could taste it!



  4. Oooh, I can almost taste this! I use Julia's recipe as well and have done the traditional cherries but it is also delicious with blueberries (although I once served it to a gathering of French people who were so amused by the concept of a clafouti that did not have cherries in it.) Hubby just bought a couple of pears...too bad we still haven't finished the brownies I made for Book club week!

    1. LOL! I can't believe you served French food to French people. That takes serious guts!

  5. Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum! And a perfect tart for the holidays, too! Yum!

    Daryl / Avery

    1. It would be an easy dish for the holidays. And while I was eating it, it dawned on me that it might also be a very nice breakfast or brunch dish.