Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening Article
Your resource for Sacramento-area gardening news, tips and events

Articles Recipe Index Keyword Index Calendar Twitter Facebook Instagram About Us Contact Us

Autumn's other fruit shines in easy dessert

Recipe: Clafoutis puts ripe pears center stage

Pear clafoutis
Just out of the oven, this pear clafoutis smells amazing. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Pears come into season about the same time as apples, but seem to get lost in the early fall rush. It may be because, as some kitchen wag noted years ago, a pear is perfect for only 5 minutes. Beforehand, it's too hard, and afterwards it's mush.

A shame, really, because pears have texture and flavor that complements so many things. They go equally well with a glass of red wine, a hunk of cheese or a pile of spinach salad. They are delicious grilled, too.

While apples have cinnamon all tied up as the perfect spice accompaniment, pears have cardamom, a woefully underused spice that smells incredible in baked goods. Pears also match well with almond, so I brought all these flavors together in a quick-to-mix autumn clafoutis.

Clafoutis, if you're not familiar with it, is a French dessert that falls somewhere between custard and Dutch baby pancake, with fruit but without the latter's extreme puffiness. No crust to fuss with here, either. The batter can be made in a blender, and before you know it you have a baked treat that can serve as dessert or brunch dish.

Choose firm-ripe pears for this clafoutis. I prefer Boscs, which are more likely to stay ripe longer before turning to mush, but Bartletts are good as well. I use a 10-inch shallow ceramic tart dish for clafoutis, but a pie pan or gratin dish also will work if it's large enough. You don't want the clafoutis to be too thick; the batter should barely cover the fruit.

Autumn pear clafoutis

Serves 6 to 8

Peeled, cored pears
A melon baller is perfect for removing pear cores.


Butter, for greasing pan

1 tablespoon granulated sugar, for dusting pan

Two large, firm-ripe pears, about 1-1/4 pounds total

1 tablespoon Amaretto or other almond liqueur, optional


3/4 cup milk, room temperature

1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt

Powdered sugar, for serving

Pear slices in pan
Arrange the pear slices evenly in the pan


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch tart pan or other shallow baking dish, and sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of sugar over it.

Peel and core the pears and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange the slices in a pleasing design on top of the sugared butter. If desired, sprinkle the pear slices with the Amaretto, and set the dish aside while you make the batter.

In the container of blender or in a large bowl (if using a mixer or immersion blender), blend together, just until combined, the milk, cream and eggs and vanilla and almond extracts. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cardamom and salt. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture, and blend on medium-high speed for 1 minute.

Pour the batter over the pears in the dish carefully, to avoid disturbing the fruit pattern, and bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the clafoutis is turning light golden brown and the tip of a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.

Cool the clafoutis for about 10 minutes before serving, or allow to cool to room temperature. It's even good cold, but just barely warm seems to be the ideal serving temperature.

Sprinkle the clafoutis with powdered sugar before cutting and serving.


0 comments have been posted.

A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.


Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Taste Summer! E-cookbook


Find our summer recipes here!

Local News

Ad for California Local

Taste Spring! E-cookbook


Find our spring recipes here!

Thanks to our sponsor!

Summer Strong ad for

Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

Taste Fall! E-cookbook

Muffins and pumpkin

Find our fall recipes here!

Taste Winter! E-cookbook

Lemon coconut pancakes

Find our winter recipes here!