Celebrate Fall with a Pear & Toasted Almond Clafoutis

pearalmondclafoutis

Clafoutis, a fruity, pudding-y, not-quite-a-cake dessert, is traditionally made with black cherries. But as some of you may have noticed here at Stella Nonna we like to play with tradition a bit. Clafoutis is a super easy and delicious dessert to make at home, impressing guests, family, or just yourself. If you happen to have any leftovers, it’s also delicious at breakfast. This twist on the classic French dessert blends beautiful pears that are in season right now with toasted almonds. We like the toothsome texture the ground almonds give to the clafoutis, making it just a little bit more interesting (and less prone to the rubbery texture not-so-good clafoutis can get). This recipe also works really well with toasted hazelnuts and pears or switch out the pears for apples. In the summer it’s amazing with almonds and apricots or peaches or really any stone fruit, including the cherries of the classic recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • ¾ cup raw almonds
  • 2 large pears, enough to cover a shallow 9” tart pan in a single layer
  • 2 T flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the almonds in single layer in a small baking pan or cast iron pan and toast in the oven until they start to smell toasty, about 15 minutes. Alternately you can toast them on the stove top but they won’t have exactly the same toasted flavor. Remove from the oven, transfer to a dish and set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.

Butter/grease the bottom and sides of a 9” shallow tart or baking pan.

Peel and core the pears. Depending on how fancy you want to get, either cut the pears into large chunks (about 1 ½” square) or into wedges (about 3/4” wide at the bottom). Place the pear chunks into a single layer in your pan –or– arrange your wedges in a circle around the pan.

Put the cooled almonds into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until very fine and sandy. Watch it carefully so you don’t make almond butter. Add the flour, sugar, vanilla, eggs, egg yolks, milk, cream, and salt and blend until smooth.

Pour the batter over the fruit, carefully if you’ve made a circle of pears. Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve warm (or cold if you’re eating leftovers for breakfast).

Tabitha Steager

Tabitha Steager Communications, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia v8k2p7