How to make Pear Clafoutis

You might recall I made cherry clafoutis a while back using a recipe I found in Delicious magazine.  While the clafoutis was delicious, the recipe I usually use, which is based on the recipe from The Cook’s Book of Everything by Lulu Grimes, has more of a custard texture, which I prefer to the light, almost airy cake texture of the other recipe.

For this clafoutis I’d picked up some beautiful Packham Pears from the Jan Powers Growers Markets at the Powerhouse which I decided to poach in Pedro Ximenez sherry, vanilla bean and cinnamon and bake into the clafoutis.  Pedro Ximenez is a sherry that is sticky and sweet with aromas of raisin, coffee and treacle.  It’s deliciously addictive and works fantastically with pears.

While this clafoutis might not be the most attractive of dishes with the way it tends to shrivel back on itself once it leaves the oven, the taste and the texture make up for it in my opinion.

Pears poached in Pedro Ximenez in vanilla and cinnamon

2 pears, peeled, cored and cut into quarters
1 cup of Pedro Ximenez Sherry (or other sweet wine)
2 cups of water
1/2 cup of sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 cinnamon quill

1.  Place a saucepan large enough to hold the pears and liquid on a medium heat.  Add the Pedro Ximinez, water, sugar cinnamon quill and pears.

2. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the pot and then add the bean to the poaching liquid.

3. Poach the pears until they become tender but not so soft they fall apart.  The time this will take depends on how ripe the pears are.

4. Remove the pears from the poaching liquid and drain on some paper towel while you make the clafoutis.

5. Meanwhile, add an additional 1/2 cup of sugar and increase the heat and bring the poaching liquid to a simmer and reduce the liquid into a syrup to pour over the clafoutis upon serving.

Clafoutis
Serves 6

60g of plain flour
75g of sugar
4 eggs
250ml of full cream milk
25g of unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of cream

1. Preheat the oven to 180degrees and grease the baking dish(es) you will use to bake the clafoutis.

2. In a jug or separate bowl add the eggs,milk, cream and melted butter and beat together gently to combine.

3. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the sugar.  Make a well in the centre and gradually whisk in the liquid until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.

4. Place the pears in the bottom of the baking dish(es) and pour the batter over the pears.

5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the batter has risen and is golden on the edges.

6. Serve with freshly whipped cream or ice cream along with a drizzle of the poaching liquid.