Pear Clafoutis

When I started this blog last month, I kept it on the down low. I wanted to get a good selection of posts and recipes on here before I told all my friends and family. I told just a handful of people whose opinion I greatly value so they could give me some input. One of these wonderful persons, my cousin, Abrar, decided to advertise my blog on my own Facebook page! So, the cat is now out of the bag. Thankfully, everyone seems to have positive things to say, so I am happy and to everyone who has visited my blog, I thank you and look forward to your continued interest and support. Please, leave a comment because I do value your input. Now, the one downside to this sudden fame has been that everyone is insisting that I post more recipes. I am working as quickly as I can! I think the problem is that I don’t do my day to day cooking using recipes. However, when you have to write down a recipe, you have to make sure of quantities etc, for those who maybe preparing it for the first time. That’s where my delay is, I have to consciously note every thing down. I will get on the ball though and start posting!

I do have one recipe ready to go. It’s an incredibly easy and yummy dessert. I make this often and that’s probably why I have it handy! A clafoutis is a French dessert that is traditionally made with cherries. It comes from the Limousin region of France where the black cherry is the tradition. It can also be made with other fruit: plums, berries, apples, pears and peaches ( it is properly known as a flaugnarde if made with something other than cherry, but I think clafoutis is just easier to say and remember!) I have made the cherry clafoutis before but I find myself making the pear more often. It’s probably because I don’t usually have black cherries on hand but always have tinned pears in the pantry. Yes, I know what you are thinking, tinned pears??!!! For someone who touts organic and wholesome…tinned pears??!! I keep tinned fruit for dessert emergencies. When a sweet craving strikes, we open up tinned fruit and add to ice cream or just dribble some cream on top and enjoy. If you buy a good quality tinned fruit, then they really are very good. I keep tinned peaches for peach cobbler, tinned lychees, and tinned fruit cocktail for my trifle. Of course, we don’t eat all our fruit from cans! But I do use them for baking purposes. 

Fresh fruit is usually used in the clafoutis. I have made this before with fresh pears but believe it or not, I preferred the tinned pear version. I think it’s because, unless your pears are really ripe, they just don’t get soft enough. The tinned pears have been slightly poached in syrup so they are quite perfect. I leave it up to you, if you want to try the fresh fruit version, go for it. As for the recipe itself, there are many available on the internet and in various cookbooks. I tried Ina Garten’s which uses heavy cream and I tried Julia Child’s that uses all milk and, there is one by Marie Simmons that uses a combination. I adapted my recipe from theirs and this one works for me.

Pear Clafoutis

11/2 cups milk*
1 cup heavy cream*
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tins of pear halves ( or about 4 fresh pears sliced)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
Grease a 10 inch, deep dish pie dish. Use a shallow baking dish.
Arrange the pear halves in the dish. I leave them whole for a pretty presentation
but you can slice them or chop them. Set aside.
In the jar of a blender, put in the first 7 ingredients in the order they are listed.
Blend for about 2 minutes, till nice and smooth.
If you don’t have a blender, just mix together using a whisk till the batter is well blended.*
Pour over the prepared pears in the pan.
Dot with the pieces of butter.
Bake till the clafoutis is well puffed and golden brown. It will take about 45/55 minutes.
Check the centre with a knife and it should come out clean if done.
Cool on a rack before serving.
Dust with powdered sugar. 
The clafoutis should be eaten warm but it’s also pretty good at room temperature.

*NOTE: If you don’t have heavy cream, you can make this with all milk. You will have to increase the eggs from 4 to 6. The extra eggs make the batter richer and thicker so the custard can set. I find that the batter improves if it is refrigerated for about 20 minutes before baking, just like a crepe batter. The flour has a chance to get absorbed into the milk and it makes for a smooth, even batter. The nice thing is, you can make the batter ahead of time and stick it in the fridge. When you are about to eat dinner, just pull it out, pour it over the fruit and bake. 

So, I hope this takes care of any sweet cravings going on. This dessert is not too sweet, it’s got just the perfect touch of sweetness to it. You can add a dollop of sweetened, whipped cream but I like it as is. Let me know if you try it and if you choose to make it with a different fruit.
Tell me how it turned out. Now, I am off to find another recipe to work on posting!