Clafouti is a simple French custard dessert that is festive to serve during the holidays. I first learned of this dessert when I was in pastry school, almost 20 years ago. Unlike most French desserts, this one is super easy to make and it only has a handful of ingredients. Fresh pears and cranberries are ripe and ready to be added to baked goods of all kinds during this Christmas season. The contrasting tartness of cranberries, and the natural sweetness of pears compliment each other, and make a good marriage in a custard type dessert, like clafouti.
The fruit is arranged in the bottom of a prepared dish, and the custard mixture is poured over the top before being baked. The custard has a good splash of brandy and almond extract added, to infuse some holiday cheer. When it comes out of the oven, a dusting of powdered sugar creates a white Christmas effect and don’t forget to serve this one with a little Chantilly cream for additional decadence.
1 teaspoon butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar + more for pan
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 large pears, peeled and cut into quarters
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Chantilly cream, optional
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and sugar a 10 x 3 inch round pan. Add sliced pears in a flower pattern around pan and pour cranberries over top of pears.
2. In a stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add flour, salt, cream, almond extract and brandy and mix on low for 1 minute, until smooth.
3. Pour batter over fruit and place in oven to bake for 35-45 minutes, or until light golden brown on top.
4. Let cool for 20 minutes, then dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm, or at room temperature with whipped cream, if desired. Enjoy!
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