A few weeks ago we tried Michael Smith's new restaurant in the Crossroads. The restaurant had been open just a couple of weeks and the buzz was so good...we just had to go. The menu is impressive, not unlike his former restaurant, but with a much fresher menu. Every item from the freshly squeezed fruit in the cocktails to the dessert, featured seasonal ingredients. I had halibut with a corn slaw, it was lovely. For dessert, we chose a sampling and had little bites of everything. The sweet cherry clafoutis was a show stealer. Although the lemon sorbet and Pimm's float rocked.
I decided to try a clafoutis the very next day, searching through all of my resources for a great recipe. The recipe below from Bon Appetit had the best reviews and won the biggest praise overall, so I went for it. I used the peaches and blueberries from our CSA, in place of the pears. We had such a hard spring with late freezes, our Missouri peaches are just not as good this year. They are best cooked or used in smoothies.
This is very much a custard-like dish, while the cherry clafoutis at the restaurant had more of cakey consistency. Both were delicious, but not as similar as I'd hoped. This is a nice summer dessert that isn't too sweet. I'll try it again with fall fruit. Bonus: the leftover Reisling is a great starter for white sangria.
Vanilla Pear Clafoutis
Bon Appétit November 1997
Makes 6 servings.
3/4 cup sweet white wine (such as Riesling)
3 large pears, peeled, cored, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine wine and pears in large bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Drain pears, reserving 1/4 cup wine.
Butter 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Beat eggs, sugar and salt in medium bowl to blend. Whisk in flour. Add milk, butter, vanilla and reserved 1/4 cup wine; whisk until smooth. Arrange pears in prepared dish. Pour batter over pears.
Bake clafoutis until center is set and top is golden, about 55 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Sift powdered sugar generously over top. Cut into wedges; serve warm.