A Clafoutis with Pears

The name of this extremely easy dessert can be mystifying when first encountered….As in, what the hell is that? Clafoutis, pronounced “kla-foo-tees”, is French and manifique! Clafoutis are traditionally made with cherries, which was how I made my very first version many years ago. I have also made them using summer berries, plums and winter tart apples. No matter what fruit you choose, you will hardly ever make an easier and more loved dessert..

I do hope if you make it you will let me know how you like it. With this post I shall bid adieu to my trio of Fall pear posts. Bon Appetit.

A Clafoutis with Pears

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons very soft butter
  • 3 ripe, but firm pears, thinly sliced
  • 1  1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Smear a 10 inch cast iron skillet all over with softened butter.
  2. In a blender mix together the milk, 1/3 cup of the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, salt and flour  on high speed until smooth with no lumps.  Pour batter into the prepared skillet.
  3. Top batter with all the pear slices. They will sink down into the batter for the most part. Sprinkle with remaining 2/3 cup sugar. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top is puffy and golden brown.
  4. Serve warm or room temperature with a generous dusting of powdered sugar. Clafoutis are also delicious cold and will keep for days chilled when sliced and removed from skillet.

(Recipe adapted from the New York Times recipe by Julia Moskin “Julia Child’s Berry Clafoutis” on line.)

Teresa Blackburn.        www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

 

“Pear-Blueberry Clafoutis Southern-Style”

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I am quite smitten with my pears this summer. I have spent some time gazing at them and even more time posing them, turning them this way and that, looking at how they catch the light at different hours of the day.  They are very willing models…silent, accommodating and seductively gorgeous.

This is not Food on Fifth’s first “pear rodeo” so to speak. In years past I have posted “A Series of Coincidences Involving Pears”,  “Pear Infused Vodka” and “A Seasonal and Southern Red Bartlett Pear-Almond Cake”. Soon a pear jam will appear on these pages…not today, but soon.

A Clafoutis (lovely to say aloud softly and be sure to keep the “s”),  and very French…a perfect pairing with my Southern twist…cornbread mix from “Southern City Flavors”, which you can buy at Whole Foods Markets or online,  and blueberries….a very oooh la la morning moment.

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This recipe is my adaptation of the classic French clafoutis which is pretty hard to trump. I was working on a photo shoot with Mike Weeks, proprietor of “Southern City Flavors” recently and he gave me a couple of bags of his cornmeal mix. Familiar with this product via Batch Nashville, I knew it would be a good fit with my Southern-style clafoutis.

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Quick and so easy, a warm, just out of the oven clafoutis with local berries & pears, light and custardy, just a hint of cornmeal crunch….powdered sugar or not…is what Sunday’s are made for. Oui? Oui!

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Sans a dusting of powdered sugar……..with a dusting of powdered sugar.

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Pear-Blueberry Clafoutis, Southern-Style

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 6 small ripe, but firm pears, halved & cores removed
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 TBSP softened butter
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 generous TBSP vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup white cornbread mix
  • powdered sugar if desired

Directions for Cooking:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter an 8 to 10 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the buttered dish with 2 TBSP of the raw sugar. Arrange halved & cored pears cut side down in the bottom of the dish. Scatter the blueberries over the pears. Set aside.
  3. In a blender or with a hand mixer, blend the milk, remaining sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, salt & cornbread mix together.
  4. Pour batter over the pears & blueberries gently tapping the dish on the kitchen counter to get out any air bubbles.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until puffy and golden brown on top.
  6. Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar if desired.

“Plum Clafoutis with Cornmeal – A French Twist”

Once again the branches of the plum-tree a few doors down from us are hanging heavy with ripe fruit. Birds swoop and bite into these sunripened  beauties all during the day leaving half-eaten fruit lying on the ground underneath the tree. As I pick some of these red & purple from the limbs the birds never stop their feast. Back home, I am happy with my  bounty. I will make a “Plum Clafoutis” with a “twist”.

I learned to make clafoutis a number of years ago from some Danish neighbors who were both great cooks. My first was made with dark red cherries, which is the classic version. I love saying “clafoutis”…it is one of those great little words with much rhythm and mystique. Say it softly a few times and you will understand.

Here is my Southerner’s adaptation of this easy French classic.

“CLAFOUTIS WITH RIPE PLUMS AND CORNMEAL”

Ingredients:

12 firm, but ripe, rinsed &  pitted plums, cut into quarters

2 tbsp softened butter

3/4  cup raw sugar, divided

5 large eggs

dash of salt

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup milk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

6 tbsp yellow cornmeal

6 tbsp all-purpose flour

powdered sugar

maple syrup (optional indulgence)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Butter a cast iron skillet (or other oven safe dish). Cut pitted plums into pieces.

4. Toss plums into bottom of skillet & sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the raw sugar.

 

5. Using a blender mix together the 1/2 cup raw sugar, eggs, salt, yogurt, milk, vanilla, cornmeal & flour. Blend until well mixed with no lumps.  Pour batter over plums.

6. Bake for about 35 minutes or until center is “set” but still a bit “jiggly”. Remove from oven to cool for at least 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Clafoutis are great warm or cold. For breakfast or brunch with a drizzle of maple syrup it is a sublime treat.

 

The addition of the cornmeal creates a surprise crust on the bottom. Blended with the other ingredients, the cornmeal being heavier, it sinks to the bottom of the skillet during the baking process. A smooth, sweet eggy custard with ripe plums and a tiny crunch on the bottom of each bite.

Clafoutis (French pronunciation: [klafuti]Occitanclafotís [klafuˈtis]), sometimes in Anglophone countries spelled clafouti, is a baked French dessert of black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm.

The clafoutis comes from the Limousin region of France and while black cherries are traditional there are numerous variations using other fruits including red cherriesplumsprunesapplescranberries or blackberries

Bon Appetit with your local fruits & vegetables all summer long.