Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pear Clafouti (Pronounced cla-foo-TEE )

Recipe from Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris Cookbook and Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Serves 8

Oh, baby! Is this gooooood! Jim and I went to Andy and Linda’s house to celebrate Linda’s birthday. They fixed us a delicious meal and I brought the ingredients for the dessert. They were gracious enough to let me experiment on them. The French dessert was quick and easy to make. It came out beautifully, even when I used Linda’s old fashioned wood cook stove to bake it in! We had it while it was still a bit warm along with real vanilla ice cream. I bought all of the ingredients from Lost River Market & Deli, except for the eggs. They came from Andy and Linda’s chickens. But never fear! You can get locally raised chicken eggs at Lost River Market & Deli too! After dessert, we had a great time playing Charades. Who says you have to have electricity to have fun!?

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons pear brandy or brandy (I used brandy. Pear brandy is very expensive.)
2 to 3 firm but ripe Bartlett pears
Confectioners' sugar
Vanilla Ice Cream, Sweetened Whipped Cream or Crème fraiche, for serving

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter a 10 by 3 by 1 1⁄2-inch round baking dish and sprinkle the bottom and sides with 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. (I used a 10 inch glass Pyrex tart dish.)

Beat the eggs and the 1⁄3 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the flour, cream, vanilla extract, lemon zest, salt, and brandy. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel, quarter, core, and slice the pears. Arrange the slices in a single layer, slightly fanned out, in the baking dish. Pour the batter over the pears and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is firm, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with confectioners' sugar, and vanilla ice cream, sweetened whipping cream or crème fraiche.

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