I remember that my mom would make this on special occasions when I was little. I would always get so excited when I saw it resting in the kitchen. I couldn’t wait to eat some! I was fascinated by the rows of pears, totally mystified by how she got them to look so pretty. Now I know that the trick is a very sharp knife -Â a “trick” that is useful in just about every activity that involves knives.
I asked her for the recipe on an impluse; it was something I hadn’t thought about for years. I believe that it is originally from Jacques Pepin, published in a magazine called the Pleasures of Cooking, which had myriad food processor recipes. I think that it may have been published by Cuisinart, which explains this. Every edition had tons of recipes and useful advice on everything from assembling terrines to baking brioche. I quite like looking through the stack of old issues at my parent’s house.
The pear clafoutis tastes like a cross between a custard and a fruit-filled dutch baby pancake. It has a distinctly custardy flavor, but holds together almost like a cake because there is a fair amount of flour in the custard mixture.Â Â Overall, the dessert is actually quite light because the body of the custard is broken up by tender pieces of pear. I don’t think that the original recipe called for any additional flavorings, but I love to add a bit of vanilla and nutmeg into the custard mixture when I make it.
You could also make this for a fancy-ish brunch if you don’t want to save the recipe just for dessert. It can be served warm or cold.
4 barely-ripe pears, bartlett or d’anjou
1/4 cup +Â 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk (low fat is fine)
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 425F and lightly grease a 10-inch round baking/tart dish.
Peel pears. Slice in half and remove cores and stems. Slice crosswise every 1/8 inch and fan around a 10 inch round baking dish, stem ends facing into the center. If your pears are large, you might only use 6 halves around the outside of the pan. If this is the case, add one of the remaining pear halves to the center of the dish (as pictured above). Sprinkle pears with approx. 1 tbsp sugar.
In a food processor, blend flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, milk, vanilla and nutmeg until smooth, about 15 seconds. Pour mixture on top of pears and sprinkle again with remaining sugar.
Bake for 15 minutes at 425F. Turn oven down to 350F and bake an additional 25-30 minutes, until clafoutis is golden brown and a tester (sharp knife) inserted into the center comes out clean.
Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.
Note: The clafoutis will fall a little bit as it cools, so don’t be surprised!
AndreaMarch 20, 2005
Yum! My hubby and I love pear almond tart to which this is very similar. Or is it the same tart, only with ground almonds instead?
It does look fantastic!
AnaMarch 20, 2005
Nic, that Clafoutis looks delish! That picture is fantastic. It makes me want to reach for the monitor to grab some.
NicMarch 20, 2005
Thanks, Ana. It’s a very pretty dish when you fan all the pears out like that.
Dreska, I think that this isn’t classified as a tart because there’s no crust, but I do think it would be wonderful with either a few ground almonds or some almond extract. Pears and almonds are a divine combination.
nadineMarch 20, 2005
although i love the redesign, on an 800×600 screen the text overlaps the images and is hard to read.
NicMarch 21, 2005
Nadine – What browser do you use? I checked differnt resolutions on my computer and didn’t have any problems. I’ll keep working on the problem, though.
MollyMarch 21, 2005
Nic., your clafoutis looks lovely! I too am a big fan of clafoutis–in the summertime, I love to make them with fresh apricots or little Italian prune plums. Your pears look especially elegant, though…
ejmMarch 21, 2005
Molly I like clafouti made with plums too. But this pear one looks wonderful.
LaurieAugust 21, 2008
I’m gonna give this recipe a try today! Looks really good!
maggieDecember 29, 2008
I tried this out today and was a bit disappointed and the family were not fans eithet. It wasn’t really a custard but it wasn’t a cake either. It could be me though I tried my hand at baking and am not always successful 🙁
RebeccaMay 26, 2009
Mine tastes great, but my pears were hidden underneath the batter and never peaked out like your the ones in the picture. DO I just use less of the batter?
Sue B.November 30, 2009
This is an excellent dessert. I only used the 1/4 cup of sugar in the batter and didn’t sprinkle with the extra. It was sweet enough. Very tender and tasty. I am looking forward to trying the batter with other fruit.
TinaOctober 14, 2010
I just made it. It looks great and can’t wait to try it. Yum!! Thank you for the recipe 🙂
MayNovember 29, 2011
I recently made this for a family dinner… Was very disappointed. We all thought it tasted too eggy…