Pear & Dried Cherry Clafouti
Have a you ever made a clafouti? Its a classic French dessert (Reason #1 for you to make it… the French are masters when it comes to sinfully delicious desserts… it’s just the truth.)
Clafouti is pronounced Cla-foo-tee. (I learned that from an acutal French girl… Hi Vanessa!) And although I’ve been making this dessert for years, in my ignorance I was mistakenly calling it a Cuh-floutie! Reeeeeally classy I know… but I had no one to educate me so I didn’t learn the proper pronunciation until college.
Whatever you call it though, Clafouti is a must-try! One year, I made this dessert for a friend’s birthday and I’m pretty sure she thought I was Martha Stewart herself. Its just that spectacular. And it’s the poster-dessert for the idea that, “If you use the best ingredients, the simplest foods really can be divine.” And this is SO simple! See for yourself.
I got this recipe from the Queen herself (Martha.) I feel I can always rely on Martha never to steer me wrong when it comes to matters of the home. She may be an over-achiever but I don’t hold that against her. The way I see it, as long as she’s an over-achiever I don’t have to be one myself… I can just benefit from her wellspring of knowledge without having to manage my own free-range chicken farm or own seven dogs with names like Poopsie and Franchesca who I dress up for Halloween.
Here’s what you’ll need:
-One large (or two small, dinky, winter-weary) pear(s)… red are my favorite
-1/4 C. all-purpose flour, plus a bit more for dusting (I substituted soft white wheat cuz’ I like it)
-1/4 C. sugar
-3/4 C. whole milk
-3/4 C. heavy cream (See what I mean about the French? They know it ain’t dessert without cream, baby!)
-2 large eggs
-1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
-a pinch of salt (Shall I preach you another sermon about how NON-optional this is? I think you understand how strongly I feel about it, right?)
Now, for starters, butter a pretty tart pan if you have one (just don’t use the kind with a removable bottom for this.) If you don’t have one, a pie plate will work splendidly.
Preheat your oven to 400 too. Now would be a good time for that.
Grab your pear… and peel it up. (It will begin to brown pretty quickly, so I’d suggest mixing up your batter first and peeling and cutting the pear last. But since that’s not how I did it today, that’s not the order I’m showing you in. Maybe you don’t even care if the pear gets brown! I, for one, will make the batter first next time.)
Once peeled, slice the pear into thin, uniform slices. Remove any seeds or tough core pieces you come across.
Now take the lovely, dripping, juicy pear slices (try with all your might not to eat them just yet) and arrange them prettily in the buttered/floured dish.
Set these aside, and in a medium-sized mixing bowl… just start combining ingredients from the above list. (Hold off on adding the dried cherries just yet.)
First the milk and cream.
Then the eggs… plop em’ on in there!
Followed by the flour and sugar…
The purest vanilla you can get your hands on…
And last (but not least) a pinch of salt!
Now, simply whisk this mixture well until it’s smooth and combined… then gently pour it over the pears. Pour carefully so you don’t ruin your pretty design! (FYI: I didn’t use all my batter. You want to just cover your pears, but not drown them… so you may not use it all and that’s ok. It depends on the size of your dish.)
Now sprinkle the dried cherries over the batter. Try to space them evenly (I’m a little o.c.d about this… but its because I like to get a cherry in every bite. I’ve got a thing for dried cherries… big time.)
And bake at 400 for 25 minutes.
When you look at it after 25 minutes, you may be unsure of whether it’s done… but go ahead and take it out. It should in no way resemble American cake… so there’ll be no need to do any testing with a toothpick. If it looks somewhat “foreign” to you, that’s because it is!
Let it cool completely!
And in my humble opinion, the BEST way to eat clafouti is the next morning for breakfast (after it’s spent the night in the fridge.) I LOVE it cold. I’ll eat it at any temp, but I LOVE it cold!
Mmmmm. It is simply delicious.
I sure intend to. (Husband’s still on a diet so I’ll be eating most of this thank-you!)
Don’t mind if I do…