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Pear Clafouti, the Tasty Dessert With the Funny Name

This entry is part of a series, RdJ Marathon»

Pears

In my mind, pears are an overlooked fruit option for many dishes. Pears aren’t available lots of places or a lot of the year, like apples and other hand fruit are these days. They are usually more expensive than other options, although the price per-item isn’t often a big difference.

Pears, though, bruise more easily that many other fruits, and they don’t seem to store well. You get them fresh and ready, you gotta use them right away. And be gentle with them too! Those disadvantages make it all too easy to skip the pears when shopping for fruit.

It’s sad.

What’s a clafouti, you ask? Well, it’s not some exotic marsupial found only in the wilds of western Australia. It’s a French dessert, actually! It’s a wonderful creation, simple and elegant. Effortless enough to eat every day, if you wished; elegant enough to take to a black-tie event and you wouldn’t embarrass the other guests. Far from it, you’d be the hit of the evening, and everyone would want to know your recipe.

That doesn’t really clear things up, though. The original clafouti used whole cherries, baked in a light batter. The mixture for a clafouti resembles a thick pancake or crepe batter and for this reason, according to “Larousse Gastronomique,” the Academie Francaise defined the clafouti as a “sort of fruit flan.” Under protests from residents of the Limousin, the definition was changed to a “cake with black cherries,” even though other types of cherries, and even other fruits, are often used.

Does that make it clear? Well, if not, then try this simple version in your kitchen and you’ll get the idea:

The batter actually seems more like a Yorkshire pudding mix, to me. Whatever you call it, this is about as easy a dessert as you can make: Put your fruit in a big ramekin or baking dish; mix, pour and bake. No muss, no fuss.

There are literally hundreds of variations on the clafouti available online. Once you learn the basic pattern, you can always make a simple, yet sophisticated, dessert for your family and friends. Who knows, you might even get offers of marriage for serving something this great…

Enjoy the (Funny-Sounding Dessert) Heat!

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