Don't adjust your dials...

Pear Clafouti 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.


  1. Well, I'll give it a go...I love baking. Pears... mmmm...tx for the recipe....

    I just conquered my "yeastphobia"... and started baking bread a few months ago. Today was a dull, dreary day...perfect for baking. Bread and also strawberry/banana muffins.... gotta say there is nothing like the aroma of fresh bread.......

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  3. Your dessert looks tasty and your pictures of it are so beautiful! Your images can be so simple, yet the way you capture them is stunning!

  4. I can't bake anything without a kitchenaide mixer.

  5. Bumble - I was traumatized enough by my feeble attempt at making Irish Soda bread 8 years ago that I don't dare try to make anything that requires kneading. :)

    Thanks Joi.

    Kyle - I can't imagine having to lug out an electric mixer to make anything. I'm just not dedicated enough to the craft :) (And I like clean counters)

  6. Looks divine! Yum. As does your soapstone countertops =)

    I have the hardest time w/ baking too. I think it's b/c I'm too impatient to wait for something to come out of the oven. Not to mention all the measuring and stuff.

    I do love pears though so you've convinced me to try this recipe!

  7. Looks yummy! Good job!

    M ^..^

  8. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Everytime I make substitutions things turn out badly. Glad yours turned out so well.

  9. I am on a Master Cleanse and that looks mighty tempting. I love Barefoot Contessa. She has such passion and joie de vivre for a tasteful life!

  10. I LOVE fruit desserts. Looks fantastic.

  11. I'm impressed! Looks delish to me. -Julia

  12. That looks absolutely delicious! It even sounds like we could do it (with your changes, as we would fall into the same category on all those!!!) Have a fabulous weekend!

    kari & kijsa

  13. Yummy. Can't wait to get the oven installed and start baking!

  14. I wouldn't even attempt to try to bake this. I'm awful in the kitchen. Awful I say.

  15. That was actually really funny...esp. the part about not opening a bottle of brandy for 2 spoon fulls. I wouldn't either! Some recipes are so pretentious. 


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