January 12, 2006


I have been wanting to make a French dessert for some time now, but with so many delicious tarts, eclairs, pastries, beignets and tiny cakes on display in every boulangerie window, it seems a little ridiculous to make anything at home. But, with renewed enthusiasm, I decided to make this very simple dessert. A Clafoutis is fruit baked in a light batter similar to crepe batter. Some recipes have a custard or flan-like texture and some are more cakey. The most traditional kind is Clafoutis aux Cerises. Instead of cherries, I made mine with pears and raspberries. It was absolutely delicious and absolutely simple. There are many recipes out there but usually I find that with much of French cooking, the most simple looking one is the best. I think this is almost exactly Julia Child's recipe, by the way. It doesn't hurt repeating what any Clafoutis lover already knows; it makes a sinful breakfast eaten cold from the fridge!

Clafoutis aux Poires et aux Framboises

3 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 pears, peeled and sliced rather thickly
2/3 cup fresh raspberries
powdered sugar for garnishing

Whisk together eggs and sugar in medium bowl. Whisk in milk, vanilla and salt. Slowly whisk in the flour in small amounts to keep batter smooth. The batter will not be thick. Peel and slice fruit (virtually any kind will work) and use a paper towel to absorb extra liquid so the clafoutis isn't watery. Lay fruit in one layer (make it pretty) in a buttered 9-inch pie plate, tossing raspberries between pear slices in a seemingly random pattern of pure beauty as you laugh gaily while tossing your hair behind your shoulders. Now stop that nonsense, pour the batter over the fruit and put the Clafoutis in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 45 or 50 minutes. It will puff up considerably but will fall down once you remove it from the oven. Fear not, this is normal. It is done when an inserted knife comes out clean. Dust with powdered sugar when serving. Bon Appetit!

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