Friday, November 5, 2010

Pear Clafouti

I enjoy reading memoirs, especially those associated with food.  One of my very favorites is On Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis, author of a number of cookbooks.  It is about her time spent living and cooking in a French town.  The book contains recipes, many of which we have enjoyed time and again.  

Three perfectly ripened pears sent me to her recipe for a pear and honey clafoutis.  It's a recipe given to her by an elderly resident of Louviers.  While clafoutis is a common dessert in Normandy, this recipe, the elderly lady told her, does not produce an ordinary one.  Indeed, it doesn't.  The clafoutis that I've had and made in the past have a custard-like quality.  I would describe this one as a very moist and light cake.  I hope you'll try it because it is delicious.

Pear and Honey Clafoutis from Susan Loomis with a slight addition (nutmeg) by me

3 large pears, about 1 1/2 pounds, peeled, cored and cut into sixths
1/3 cup of honey
4 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 cup whole milk (I mixed 1 % and half and half)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Butter and flour a 10 inch round baking dish.

Arrange the pears in an attractive pattern in the baking dish and drizzle them evenly with the honey.

Separate 3 of the eggs.  In a large bowl mix the flour, all but 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the nutmeg and the salt.  Whisk together the milk, 3 egg yolks, and 1 whole egg, reserving the 3 egg whites.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the milk/egg yolk mixture into the well.  Gently whisk the dry ingredients in to make a smooth batter.  Quickly but thoroughly whisk in the melted butter.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with a small pinch of salt until they are foamy.  Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue whisking until soft peaks form.  Fold the egg whites into the batter, then pour over the pears.  

Bake in the center of the oven until the clafoutis is puffed and golden--about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Make a caramel by heating the the remaining tablespoon of sugar with 1 teaspoon of water in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally to evenly distribute the sugar, until the mixture turns a deep golden brown--about 3 to 5 minutes.  Don't stir.  When the sugar is caramelized, drizzle it over the clafoutis.  Let it harden for a few minutes.  Slice and serve.



  1. I've missed you, Bonnie. I know you were going out of town, but I've also been way behind on blog reading. So, when I saw you had updated, I definitely wanted to say hi.

    I LOVE pears. Unfortunately, our 3 pear trees produced a total of nothing this year. We had a bad spring, with freezes in late April and early May, so all our fruit was lost. However, I've gotten some great pears at the store. I love to just eat them...but this recipe sounds fabulous. I will have to give it a try.

    Have a lovely day,

  2. Hi Bonnie! I'm finally back on the computer and I missed you!! When I was in bed on my back, I had Phil read me your post about us, and have been waiting to look at the picture! The two of you look really good, I should be smiling more!! I try not to open my mouth much because of the gold bridge, it sparkles like a coin! The girls think it's cool 'cause it's like a pirate! You are such a good writer, your blog is aptly titled. Hey, isn't it great that I didn't get this vertigo virus till AFTER we met?? Your red pears in that bowl look so pretty! And Phil loves black bean soup!!

  3. Hi Girlie, Snowing up there?????? We have clouds and temps in the upper 30's right now... BUT--it feels COLD... George put a fire in the fireplace this morning for us...

    Your pear dish sounds so good. I love pears!!!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh, that does look delicious. Between the black bean soup/pumpkin and this dessert, I could be all set. We actually have some cool weather today, so it may be just the day.

  5. the pears are perfect. i have never seen one turn red. the cake thingy looks beyond delish. I love pears to. mother used to make stewed pears and pear crumble and pear preserves but nothing like this.

  6. Love the flavors in this beauties. So simple but I know they are delicious.

  7. I just love the word clafouti!!!! And I love pears too!
    This will be on my list to make.
    Thanks so much for bidding on the wreath.
    You are a dear!

  8. wooo, this sounds really good...

  9. Oh, this does sound good! I love those beautiful red pears in your basket.

  10. Bonnie, I sure wish I lived just next door to you! LOL! I'd be knocking on your door all the time... just to see if I could wrangle some of these goodies you are always cooking!

  11. This sounds delicious! What a great clafoutis!

  12. Beautiful pears and beautiful clafouti! It does look unlike any clafouti I've ever made, but it sounds absolutely wonderful. Love your baking dish as well!

  13. I love those red pears-and have some on the counter. I am definitely going to try this clafoutis tomorrow!!! Thanks!!!!

  14. Yum. That looks delicious. Have you read A Homemade Life?

  15. I have never made one of these and pear with nutmeg sounds like the perfect one to try. Thanks for the recipe! :)

  16. I also enjoy reading memoirs (and I'm excited to check on On Rue Tatin). I love making recipes that are inspired by books that I'm reading, and I loved seeing what you did with this Clafoutis. It looks and sounds beautiful. A moist and light cake sounds like just what I need!

  17. Mmmmm, it does sound good! But I'd probably eat those pears before they ever got the chance to be in any dessert :)

    I've been very scarce around the blogverse lately. I'm doing the NaNoWriMo and am posting only twice a week and visiting only once. I'll be back to normal, relatively speaking, in December.

  18. I also love hearing the stories behind makes it taste better when it has a real tangible history. This clafouti looks delicious! Love the texture and the pear infusion.


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