It sounds odd to say that a recipe's biggest problem is that it looks too good, but that's sort of the case with this pear clafoutis, a crustless custard fruit tart that often looks a lot sweeter and richer that it actually is. Usually made with cherries, this rustic French dessert adapts easily to any kind of seasonal fruit. If desired, brush top with warmed fruit preserves and honey and garnish with whipped cream, creme fraiche, or ice cream.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
45 mins
total:
1 hr
Servings:
8
Yield:
1 10-inch clafoutis
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 10-inch baking dish generously with 1 tablespoon butter.

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  • Whisk eggs, 1/3 cup sugar, milk, salt, nutmeg, vanilla extract, almond extract, and flour together in a bowl for batter.

  • Reserve 12 to 14 pear slices for topping and add remaining pear slices to the prepared baking dish. Pour batter over pears in the baking dish and top with almonds. Shake and tap the dish gently on the countertop to let mixture settle. Lay reserved pear slices flat on top. Melt remaining butter and brush over pears. Sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon sugar.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until top is golden, fruit is soft, and custard is set, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature before serving, or serve chilled.

Chef's Notes:

You can make this sweeter with more sugar, or richer with some cream instead of all milk, but there's something to be said for those rare recipes that I would describe as, 'just sweet enough.' You can also use slivered almonds instead of sliced, if you'd like.

Taste whatever fruit you're using for sweetness, since you may want to adjust the sugar level based on that. Another key, especially if you're using pears or apples, is to make sure you slice them thin; otherwise they will not cook through by the time your custard is cooked.

As I mentioned you could cook the fruit first, but I'll leave that up to you. If you use the traditional cherries, or something like tender juicy berries, this will actually cook faster than the time is given here, so I'd start checking for doneness after 25 to 30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

218 calories; protein 6.1g 12% DV; carbohydrates 28.3g 9% DV; fat 9.2g 14% DV; cholesterol 81.2mg 27% DV; sodium 115.4mg 5% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (11)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/02/2020
Chef John is definitely correct ... this is much better served cold. This recipe has a lot less flour than an old recipe I use for cherry clafoutis and is much more like a custard than a cake. Used goat milk as I didn’t have any regular whole milk and it was great. The almonds were delicious. Will make again. I will try and attach a photo Read More
(5)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
01/04/2020
This dish looks great and smells good. The texture could be better though as Carrie commented. I think the problem is that this dish should be a custard and the excessive flour detracts from that. Rather than the smooth texture of a custard it is rougher with a bread-like texture. It would be better with just a little flour maybe a couple tablespoons. Read More
14 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 12
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
04/01/2020
Chef John is definitely correct ... this is much better served cold. This recipe has a lot less flour than an old recipe I use for cherry clafoutis and is much more like a custard than a cake. Used goat milk as I didn’t have any regular whole milk and it was great. The almonds were delicious. Will make again. I will try and attach a photo Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
10/23/2019
So, if you think pears taste good, then try granny smith apples. Add a touch of vanilla with cinnamon to this dish. You will be saying, "Oh my goodness"!!! Thanks, Chef John! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
11/11/2019
What a wonderful dessert! I made it in my new enameled cast iron braiser. I only had self-rising flour so I used that. It really looked like it had a crust because the bottom was golden brown! This will be my go-to special dessert for when company comes over. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/05/2019
Did not make any changes to the recipe. A really beautiful desert and a nice change of pace with pears. Appropriate for any season. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
11/02/2019
Didn't have any almonds or either extract on hand so I made do without! Nothing a shot of Marsala can't fix. I also used soy drink instead of milk. Came out delicious. My pears were so sweet I could have even cut down on the white sugar and it still would have been tasty. Read More
(1)
Rating: 1 stars
12/25/2019
Bland and unpleasant texture..although it looked beautiful that was as far as it got...one bite and that was enough for my whole family. Never again. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
12/27/2019
Yes. A nice fairly light dessert even though I used a cup of milk and 1/4 cup of cream. My pears were very ripe and I needed to use them up so I gave this a try. Yes I will make it again. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
01/03/2020
This dish looks great and smells good. The texture could be better though as Carrie commented. I think the problem is that this dish should be a custard and the excessive flour detracts from that. Rather than the smooth texture of a custard it is rougher with a bread-like texture. It would be better with just a little flour maybe a couple tablespoons. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/07/2019
Simply followed the directions and it came out perfectly! So easy to make, and I only had a 9 inch pan! My pears weren't super sweet and I think I maybe could've put just a little more sugar on top of the decor pears. Definitely delicious served cold, after letting the pan cool a bit I just stuck the whole thing in the fridge. Read More