Is there anything better than the smell of your house when you bake on a crisp, chilly autumn evening? When the weather turns cool I am excited to get my oven going again. I don’t turn it on during the summer if I can help it. We prefer to do most of our cooking outside when it’s hot. Autumn brings cool evenings, apples, pears and the desire to be warm and cozy inside by the fire. There’s something about fall comfort food… the smell of apples and pears simmering in a mixture of butter, cinnamon and sugar can go a long way to lift anyone’s spirits.
Although not a traditional clafoutis (those being made with cherries only), this recipe makes use of the bounty of autumn fruit with a nice pinch of pumpkin pie spice and some magical hooch! I chose some cherry liqueur and a splash of bourbon, but a nice cherry brandy or dark rum would also be nice. Of course, the hooch is completely optional and not required at all. I also added sliced almonds around the edge for some nice crunch – also an optional touch. Serve warm with some créme fraiche or homemade whipped cream.
Hope you enjoy it!
- 1 c AP flour (or your favorite gluten free blend)
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 c sugar
- 4 tbsp butter, divided
- 1 c of milk (or half and half or heavy cream)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp or nice big pinch of pumpkin pie spice (or your own preference of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice and/or ginger) I like pumpkin pie spice because it adds the zip of orange peel and has a really fragrant nose with the bite of ginger.
- 3 ripe pears, peeled, cored and sliced
- 3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. dark rum, bourbon, cherry brandy, cherry liqueur (optional)
- sliced almonds (optional)
1. Peel the apples & pears and slice them. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, add the apples & pears, lemon juice, a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice) and the booze, if you are using. Reduce the apple-pear mixture until the liquor has evaporated. Set mixture aside.
2. Melt an additional 2 tablespoons of butter and set it aside.
3. Combine the flour, sugar and eggs together in a large bowl. Add in the milk and melted butter and mix until smooth (no lumps!).
4. Place the apple- pear mixture in a generously lubricated pan (your choice of butter, oil, spray. I use coconut oil spray) . Pour the clafoutis batter over the apples/pears and top with the sliced almonds. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until center is firm. Clafoutis should have a firm center and the apples/pears should be brown on top.
5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sugar; serve warm with creme fraiche, ice cream or whipped cream and a sprig of mint.