December is one of my favorite month. The house is very festive, the smells coming out of the kitchen are just something to revel into. This is also the time of the year where my baking hat comes out of the closet and I am constantly pouring over mouth watering recipes. Making lists and lists of great Christmas treats with the great ambition to make them all. However my imaginary world is a bit on a colliding course with my reality world. Somehow between school activities, even though is not I that attends school :), friends gathering, which are my favorite and do drop everything for them , shopping and and and …. my baking get very little attentive time. I do manage however to make the usual annual Holiday cookies. Maybe because of the constant requests or maybe because somehow, magically the ingredients – chocolate chips – do happen to land on the kitchen isle out of nowhere.
This year I am taking a different approach and started early with a classic French Clafoutis. I figure a large pan of deliciously soft pears marinated in brandy with a delightful custard around will last longer than a day. I have the right to dream, don’t I?
I wish I could have snapped a few photos of the slices, but before I knew, it was all gone. It will be for another time.
So with no further ado I will leave you with
CLAFOUTIS AUX POIRES
1/2 cup of brandy
6 large eggs
1/2 cup vanilla sugar
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon powder sugar
Pour the brandy into a shallow bowl large enough to hold the pears when cut.
Peel and core each pear, then cut them into 16 even slices. As they are cut, place the pears into the bowl. Gently stir to coat each slice with the brandy. when all the pears are cut, stir again, cover and let marinate for 1 hour.. Turn the pears from time to time so they will not darken.
Preheat the oven to 400º. Butter and sugar a 10 1/2 inch baking dish.
Combine the eggs and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until frothy. Slowly beat in the flour, cream and salt. Drain the pears and add the marinate liquid to the batter. Mix until well blended.
Arrange the pears slices in a spiral in the prepared baking dish. Pour the batter over the pears.
Place the baking dish in the center of the oven. Bake until the batter is firm and the top is golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove to a rack to cool, then sprinkle on the powder sugar.
Serve warm or a room temperature.