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Blackberry-Pear Clafoutis


Our apartment building overlooks a charming little street packed with bars and restos that’s bustling both by day and by night. While it’s wonderful to live where things happen, sometimes that means 3am powows and lots of “hoot….rah! hoot…rah!” from drunk frat-boy types. Last night’s “visitors” were loud and rowdy, and I got precious little sleep. Needless to say, it was a slow, slow weekend morning chez nous. And slow weekend mornings call for some serious kitchen therapy.

half clafoutis

Enter the clafoutis (pronounced cla-FOO-tee), a cross between a pancake and a custard (or, as D. put it, “kind of like a crepe but a little more runny.” Yum.) Simple to prepare, beautiful once cooked, and rather fun to eat, a clafouti is where comfort food and luxury meet. It’s often served as dessert, but I love it for breakfast on those days when you need more than a spoonful of sugar to wash the previous night down.

clafoutis in the pan

Clafoutis is traditionally made with cherries, but I love them with pears. And since I really can’t just leave a recipe alone, I also mixed in some leftover blackberries, which, along with a little orange zest, made a delightful addition. Yes, clafoutis is just as “grandmotherly” (thanks to Clotide at C&Z for the apt metaphor!) as it sounds. But you know what? So am I a little. And when there’s no leftover challah for french toast, when you just don’t want to make like those jappy mothers and their egg-white omelets, when oatmeal was your breakfast everyday this week, clafoutis, humble clafoutis, is the perfect choice.

yummy clafoutis

To the drunken, belligerent frat boys who stood on my street corner last night shouting half-coherent obscenities and poorly constructed pick-up lines: if you’re reading this, a) I’m impressed that you’re already awake, considering your wee-hour ridiculousness and b) thanks to my breakfast this morning, I’m hating you a little less than I would have otherwise.

To the rest of you, my loyal and patient readers: clafoutis can make you just as delightful as I sound now. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself.

plated clafoutis

Blackberry-Pear Clafoutis
adapted from Epicurious
serves 2-4

  • 2 pears, not too ripe, diced
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup half and half or whole milk (if using 2% milk, add an extra Tbsp. flour)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 cup flour (add an extra Tbsp if using 2% milk)
  • 1/8 cup plus 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  1. preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. butter a castiron pan, and over medium heat, cook pears and blackberries until pears brown a bit, about 3 minutes.
  3. pour syrup over fruit, and move pan into the oven for 5 minutes.
  4. Put pan back on the stove and cook over medium-high heat until the syrup has mostly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Turn off stove.
  5. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
  6. Beat eggs, half and half, and vanilla until well incorporated.
  7. Add all but 1 Tbsp sugar and all the flour and mix until there are no lumps. Add cinnamon and zest.
  8. Pour batter over pears. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 40 minutes, until the center is set.
  9. Remove from the oven, sprinkle remaining brown sugar over the top, and serve immediately.

eat up!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • aeli January 14, 2008,

    i think i might have stumbled onto something like this by mistake on one hungover & confused saturday morning, and i’m glad to learn that it has a formal name. That said, i think this pretty dish deserves a prettier name – “clafoutis” sounds more like some kind of rare medical condition you might pick up on an exotic vacation than something yummy….
    found the blog recently and am especially enjoying the pictures (i had the urge to take a picture of my buttered toast, tomato, & pesto breakfast this morning…)
    also really like the improvisational nature of it – it gives insight into the process and mentality of cooking, not only the conclusive recipe-end-product aspect of it all…. good stuff for the intimidated would-be chefs out there…

    rock on rivka

  • Hillary January 17, 2008,

    Thanks for finally explaining to me what a clafoutis is! I’ve read so many posts from food bloggers about clafouti (plural?) but never understood what they were! Thanks – yours looks great!

  • Doodee January 31, 2008,

    Thanks for sharing

  • Pseuhwoulse February 9, 2008,

    I’d prefer reading in my native language, because my knowledge of your languange is no so well. But it was interesting! Look for some my links:

  • Pseuhwoulse March 23, 2008,

    I’d prefer reading in my native language, because my knowledge of your languange is no so well.