Pear Clafoutis (Custardy Vanilla Cake with Pears)

Clafoutis is a French breakfast or dessert made with a cakey vanilla custard and  fresh fruit. Most frequently people use cherries. In the past I’ve used cherries and I’ve tried apples as well. I find that drier fruits really work the best, and pears are  officially my favorite at the moment.  I’m not a huge fan of flan like custards and the wetness from moist fruits makes it too slimy for me. (the wonderful Julia Child herself classifies this as a “flan” dessert) Its a very basic blender batter that can be assembled in no time. Using pears allows for a wonderfully delicate balance of fruit, vanilla and egg-ful-ness. You can devour it for breakfast with powdered sugar or savor it for dessert with some heavy cream. Grab a fork, no matter what time of day you choose to appreciate this delight its a beautiful rustic treat.

Pear Clafoutis
  • 3-4 pears, peeled cored and sliced (not overly ripened)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (upto 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest from 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a pie dish or 2 quart baking dish. Place pears into the bottom of the pan. You can fan them out in a decorative pattern if you’d like. I’m not usually patient enough to establish “pretty”. In a blender combine butter, sugar, flour, vanilla, eggs, cream, lemon zest and salt. Blend until smooth. Pour batter over top of the fruit. Bake for 40-45 minutes (more if it still looks moist and its not browned, less for a moister custard)

For Small fruits- You can use other fruits for small fruits such as cherries, blueberries or blackberries you will want to bake 1/3 of the batter before placing in the fruit. Do this by placing 1/3 of the batter into the buttered dish and bake for 10 minutes. This will create a “shelf” for the fruit to rest on so it does not sink to the bottom. Place the fruit on top and pour the remaining batter over top bake for 40+ more minutes until set.

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