One of the wonderful things about Canada being a multicultural nation is the variety of cuisine that is part of our daily lives. I’m particularly fond of Canadian adaptations of French recipes. Clafoutis is a traditional fruit dessert recipe from the Limousin region of France. Originally made with black cherries, this dessert easily adapts to whatever fruit is available. It is simple to make, economical and has wonderful visual appeal. It tastes great too! I’m using Bosch pears for my version of fruit baked in a custard filling. Any kind of pear will work, but I think Bosch retains it’s sweet flavour best when baked. You will want the pears to be firm, so they hold their shape well during baking.
Clafoutis is also is a great breakfast treat on a special occasion. To make it truly Canadian, I drizzled some pure maple syrup over the wedges in place of the powdered sugar. What a wonderful treat on Christmas morning!
- Large, firm pears: 2-3
- All-purpose flour: 3/4 cup
- Sugar: 1/2 cup
- Pure vanilla extract: 1 tsp
- Large eggs (room temperature): 3
- Milk and heavy cream mixture (50:50): 2 cups
- Cognac: 2 tbsp
- Cinnamon: 1 tsp
- Butter to coat dish
- Halve the pears, peel them and cut out the seeds and core.
- Thinly slice the pears lengthwise and arrange in a pinwheel design in a buttered pie plate or flan dish. The Limousin region is famous for making the oak barrels that the nearby Cognac region uses to age that ‘nectar of the gods’. Of course we will have to use Cognac in this recipe. I sprinkle about two tablespoons of Cognac over the pears and let the fruit soak it up while I prepare the batter.
- Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon over the pears.
- Sprinkle two teaspoons of cinnamon over the mixture.
- Bake in a preheated 375F. Bake for 40- 45 min. Until custard is set. It will puff up quite a bit, rather like a souffle, and settle down as it cools. Remember the eggs will continue to cook after the dish is removed from the oven so consider it ready when there are no signs of liquid and the top is golden brown. Let sit for at least 10 mins. Before cutting into wedges.
- It is traditional to sprinkle powdered sugar on the top of Clafoutis. I didn’t do purposely, so that the cinnamon takes the centrestage as the flavour. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for an elegant dessert.