Don't adjust your dials...
...you haven't stumbled into the happy homemakers blog. Its me, good ol black thumb and mediocre cook Mrs. Limestone having an off day. Yes, I baked!
We had the pleasure of having dinner with some friends a few weeks ago at their home. And the gracious hostess served us something called Pear Clafouti for dessert. Sounds fancy, doesn't it? I thought so. Gracious hostess told me it came out of one of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. Its really a sort of pear custard pie. A rustic but not overly sweet dessert.
I happen to love pears and find it a highly underused food. Add that to the fact that it was generally yummy and seemed easy enough for me to make, I tried my hand at it this weekend.
(FYI: I'm not a terrible cook - I can do the basics and get by. But baking a whole different ball of wax. It requires more precision and techniques I have no ability to master. So I generally stay away.)
I bought the pears a few days before so they could ripen a little. The pears need to be sweet.
For those still interested - here is the recipe. Naturally, I didn't stick entirely to the script. For one thing, I didn't have any pear brand laying around. Or any brandy for that matter. And even if I did, I wouldn't have opened a bottle of brandy for two spoons full. So I threw in an extra spoonful of vanilla extract.
I don't even own an electric mixer and definitely not one with a paddle attachement. I used a whisk and some elbow grease. I don't think it impacted it in a bad way but I can't be sure.
Another small asterisk is that while I followed the directions about zesting two lemons, I think my lemons were unusually large (heh - that sounds sort of dirty!) so it had a fairly strong lemon flavor. I'm not a big lemon fan but I really liked the zing of the lemon with the sweet pears.
Lastly (you probably expected this one) I didn't have any creme fraiche so it got a treatment of ready whip. Yum!
Anyway - I was a bit worried b/c when it comes out of the oven, its still pretty goey. But once it cooled down, it was really delicious. I was quite proud of myself.
It wasn't as good as original version I had sampled a few weeks ago but its definitely going to be making its way onto my list of recipes I can make to bring to a friends house or serve at my own dinner parties (should my furniture ever arrive!). I highly recommend it for insecure bakers just like me.
Addendum: For those that look at my flickr account, you might have seen a photo of my attempt at pear scones (I had extra pears). That wasn't so sucessful. Not inedible but it was more like a pear bread cookie rather than a scone. That recipe is going in the bin.