Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pear and Dried Cherry Clafouti

The Altitude Adjustment Section
A clafouti is a classic French dessert with a texture somewhere between that of a baked pudding and a pancake. In this clafouti, creamy, custard-like batter is baked over a layer of fanned pear slices; dried cherries stand in for the traditional fresh ones. The mixture puffs up as it bakes and deflates as it cools. Serve leftovers (if you have any!) for breakfast the next morning, hot or cold.

Unsalted butter, for baking dish
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 large Anjou pear, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cored
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 10-inch ceramic tart dish or 9 1/2-inch pie plate. Dust with flour, and tap out excess; set aside. Put cherries in a medium bowl, and cover with boiling water by 1 inch. Let stand until plump, about 10 minutes. Cut pear lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices; fan over bottom of prepared dish. Blend milk, cream, eggs, vanilla, sugar, flour, and salt in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour batter over pear. Drain cherries; sprinkle over batter. Bake until golden and set, about 25 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes. Cut into wedges. Serve with whipped cream!