The forgotten pear...mini pear clafoutis

This may sound strange but a couple of weeks ago, I ate a pear and it hit me that I hadn't had one in ages!  It'd probably only been a year but it felt like a whole lot longer - almost as though I'd forgotten about them and eating one triggered all these taste memories...

I was reminded of the unique flavor and texture of pears.  I don't know if I can say that I love them but they are certainly unique and different.  Now that we're firmly in the short, narrow window of pear season, I'm making up for lost time by stocking up and snacking on them.
I also thought I'd do a little baking with pears.  I've been meaning to try my hand at making clafoutis for months now and when I saw this post, I was inspired into action!
Bosc and Bartlett pear (from left to right); I went with the Bartlett for my clafoutis
I played it safe for my first clafoutis and stuck with a simple formula that produced a classic creamy-eggy-sweet custard for my pears.  Clafoutis, with that custard base, reminds me of a combination of egg custard (one of my favorite comfort foods), pancake (like a Dutch baby), and flan (which makes me understand the idea of a brown sugar, caramelized version).  All of that appeals to me.
To be honest, I can't say that I've ever even had clafoutis before now so I'm no expert on the subject.  If anyone would care to enlighten me, I'm all ears!  This is how mine turned out.  I baked it until the custard was just set but still soft, which is how I like custards like this.  We dug into ours for breakfast, while it was still ever so slightly warm.  The lightly sweetened custard was a great base for the sweet pear (which was ripe but not mushy), and each mouthful just felt like comfort food for a chilly Fall morning.

I love making scaled down, half-recipes, and I baked this pear clafoutis in a 6-inch glass pie dish I picked up from Crate & Barrel recently.  It made a nice mini clafoutis for two but I hear that clafoutis is also good eaten cold so maybe leftovers wouldn't be a bad thing.


For anyone who's interested in reading up on pears, I found this webpage very informational.  I wasn't sure how to tell when pears were ripe and this webpage tells you how to determine that (you press the neck gently) as well as the best way to store them.

I used a Bartlett pear for this clafoutis.  I couldn't decide between that and a Bosc pear so it was more of a random selection.  When my pears were ripe, I stored them in the refrigerator to prolong their shelf life and to make sure they don't get too soft since some (particularly, the Bartlett, I think) can get mushy.  So if you do make a pear clafoutis, just make sure your pear is ripe but not too soft.


Recipe:

Mini Pear Clafoutis
Adapted from this recipe and also inspired by this post from Orangette

- For one clafoutis baked in a 6-inch pie dish - 

Butter, for greasing the dish
1/2 ripe but still firm pear, thinly sliced (I used a Bartlett pear but Bosc would also be a great choice)
1 extra-large egg
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Small pinch of salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 6-inch glass pie dish lightly with butter.  Arrange pear slices on the bottom of the dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg and sugar together until frothy and pale yellow, about 1 minute. Add milk, vanilla, salt, and whisk until combined.  Sprinkle in the flour and whisk together until smooth.

Gently pour the custard over the pears.  Bake until custard puffs slightly and the top begins to turn golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, approximately 25 minutes. Let cool slightly or fully to room temperature (the clafoutis will deflate a bit) and dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.  









49 comments:

  1. You know, I always forget about pears. But I had an amazing pear bread a few weekends ago and am determined to recreate it at home! This sounds delicious too by the way!!

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    1. It's not just me, then! : ) Your pear bread sounds good...so many things to try!

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  2. My husband prefers pears to apples. This looks like a perfect dessert for him.

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    1. I'm enjoying both pears and apples right now!

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  3. A Clafoutis for two sounds the perfect way I'd like to use up my pears this weekend. I like my custard soft and gooey too and I love how vibrant this one is.

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    1. Thank you! I just got a couple of extra pears today. I'm enjoying the pears while I still remember!

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  4. It looks so good and finding pear over here is not an issue. I read through the ingredients and the process and I should be able to replicate it.

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    1. Yes, it is quite simple and worth a try if you like custards. Thanks!

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  5. I love cold clafoutis even better than warm actually! I haven't had a pear based dessert in ages, so I'm dying to give this a try, it looks awesome :)

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    1. So interesting, Consuelo! I will need to save some for leftovers another time and see how it goes. I suppose it's like flan, where we eat that cold.

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  6. I absolutely love clafoutis, and anything with that custardy texture. Yours looks like it turned out great! You know, I forget to buy and eat pears too, but there's nothing like a good, juicy pear- the flavor is just so floral and delicious!

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    1. You think so, Amy?! I'm no expert (on anything...) so I love hearing about other people's preferences and tips. I like my custard not too set and almost on the runny side so I pulled it out earlier rather than later. What is it about pears? Not flashy enough, maybe...And you totally said the word I was looking for to describe them - "floral"!!

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  7. Well Monica - all if this appeals to me too! Yum - you did a beautiful job. Sounds delicious and I am a pear fan~!

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    1. Glad to hear it, Tricia. It was super easy and worth a try for me.

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  8. Ooh, you had me at the pear part. Yum!

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    1. Here's to pears! Growing up, I mainly had crispy, juicy Asian pears. I'm trying to branch out a little these days...

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  9. I love pears and love baking with them. I have a friend who doesn't like pears --can you believe it?! *shocked*! Any custard-y desserts is fabulous and delicious in my book. I can never get enough of flan, panna cotta and creme brulee. I now have to add clafoutis to the list as I am new to it. This looks heavenly Monica! :) Have a great Thursday!

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    1. haha...I feel your pear devotion, Anne! I suppose if someone got a really mushy pear, it might not leave a great first impression? (What I'm really shocked about is people who don't love chocolate! : )

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    2. Oh yeah, that would shock me too! ;)

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  10. Pears are one of my favorite fruits, but I rarely eat them! I never thought about it until this post - haha! This sounds delicious, Monica!

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    1. Get out of town!! Isn't that funny! I love it when us "foodies" can relate to each other like this. Time to make up for lost time and grab some pears, Marie!

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  11. Wow, beautiful looking dessert! I totally neglect pears (sorry pears) so I really need to remedy that. And I also have never made clafoutis so that also needs to be remedied...

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    1. Thanks, Aimee! There are so many things out there to try, aren't there? That's why I'm glad I started this blog to document my trials - it motivates me to try new things and learn about it. I hope you grab some pears for a snack soon. : )

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  12. Hello Monica! What a beautiful creation you have made and a sweet way to start out the day with a delicately warm custard. I have not made one of these yet but with your recipe and beautiful photos have inspired me. Take care. BAM

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    1. Thank you for the comment. You are too kind. This was my first clafoutis and I'm no expert on it at all...I'm just happy it tasted good to us. : )

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  13. This pear clafoutis looks fantastic Monica! I love pears and baking with them :) I just made some pear bars with a few of the ones we picked from the orchard a few weeks back and was looking for more things to make with the rest so this is perfect. And this clafoutis sounds so good! I love creamy custards and I can imagine how wonderful this tasted! Thanks for sharing the pear tips too and hope you have a great rest of the week :)

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    1. Wow - pear bars?! That sounds so interesting. I've never baked with pears before now. I have so much to learn! We went apple/pumpkin and tomato picking this past weekend. I love the tomatoes in particular...but I'm veering off topic there! Thanks for checking this out, Kelly.

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  14. I am not very good in baking as you but when I tried clafoutis with berries it does come out jiggly and custard like. Yours look perfect and pears sound good.

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    1. Balvinder - I'm sure you are better at baking than I am! I just seem to do it more often, which does *not* make me better, believe me. It's just fun to try some new things I've always been curious about. Thanks for sharing your clafoutis experience with the texture. I see many that are much more set but I was afraid of over-cooking and we do like my egg custards a bit soft. I know cherries are the standard definition of clafoutis. I may have to try other fruits in the future. Thanks!

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  15. I somehow always forget about pears when it comes to fall baking also! Such a shame. Your clafoutis look like such a treat!

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    1. Maybe there's just too much competition (squash, pumpkin, apples...) out there against the poor pears! : ) Thanks, Joanne.

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  16. I love pears! They're perfect this time of year when you get tired of apples (if that's possible!) this looks yummy!

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  17. I ate my first pear in a LONG time the other day, too :) My hubby loves them!!

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    1. Really?! haha I hope your hubby takes advantage of pear season. Have a great weekend!

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  18. After making my clafoutis I wasn't sure what to expect either, but you're right--the texture is flan-like. When cold it was still good, so yeah, leftovers are fine. :)

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    1. Good to know - thanks for sharing!

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  19. pears are awesome: they're one of my favorite fruits to eat whole, no lie. I'm no help with the clafoutis situation, because i, sadly, have never made one. but yours looks beautiful just the way it is. and how cute is your 6 inch pie dish! adorable.

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    1. Just snacked on one myself! I love mini things...can't help myself at the store.

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  20. These are so cute and look really tasty...pears are one of my fav fruits! :) I've never made a clafouti but yours looks delicious!

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    1. I forget how good pears are, Sara! Thanks!!

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  21. The best use of pears. Love custardy clafoutis :)

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  22. Wow, look at that stunning custard photograph......
    Awesome captured my friend, i love pears all the way!
    btw, i had the soya milk version custard before, it taste preety good too......

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    1. Thank you! A soy milk version sounds great!

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  23. Just stumbled upon your blog while I was visiting another blog. I've been eating a lot of apples and pears lately and this wonderful pear clafoutis sounds like a perfect way for me to serve my pears next time. I can't imagine how delicious it would be combing the sweet pear and custard together! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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    1. Glad you stumbled here and thank you for the nice comment.

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  24. Hi Playing With Flour!

    Pardon me, but - even if the photo of your pear clafoutis looks very very good - this does not look like a clafoutis. Clafoutis are chewy desserts, the texture of which is actually closer to canelés! What you've baked looks like a custard rather than a clafoutis. if you look at google image of clafoutis, you'll see for yourself.
    http://www.mademoiselleinsydney.com/2012/11/04/gluten-free-blueberries-clafoutis-recipe-clafoutis-aux-myrtilles-sans-gluten/ is my clafoutis recipe :)

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    1. Ahh...consider me schooled in the proper definition of a clafoutis. As I wrote, I'm no expert and never had a clafoutis before so I'm certainly open to learning and hearing another's opinion.

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