Clafoutis aux poires or pears. A simple, basic dessert recipe made with fruit and custard-like creamy filling.

It is delicious any time of the day and a breeze to make. Fall is here, and the pears are at their peak, giving a very autumnal flair to this dessert.

Clafoutis aux Poires

But this is not your traditional clafoutis.

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What makes this dessert so different than your traditional clafoutis?

This year I am taking a different approach and started early with a spin on our 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.

Playing with flavors is one of the exciting components of cooking and baking.

Not only am I using pears instead of the traditional cherries with this recipe, but I am marinating the pears in brandy.

Brandy, to me, is fall in a bottle. I love the richness in flavor. The depth of color and how warm and wonderful it tastes added to my cooking.

I have been making it for so long, by “au pif ” as we say in France.

Your proverbial: by random or guesswork. A little bit more of this, a little bit less of that, but the result has been fantastic every time.

If you are unfamiliar with clafoutis, you are in for a treat.

What is a clafoutis?

A clafoutis is a classic French country dessert from the Limousin region near the center of France. This silky batter is poured over fresh fruits made using eggs, sugar, milk, and flour.

The batter bakes around the fruits creating a pudding-like texture, custard. Served lukewarm with a dusting of sugar.

The clafoutis recipe is too easy not to try it. A few staple ingredients easily found in your pantry, fruits, and you are ready to go.

The clafoutis will puff up when baking and offer you a golden top, yet, the inside will stay soft and creamy.

I am always tempted to serve it immediately after baking while it is still warm.

Traditionally, clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar on top and served on a large oval dish.

A great sweet treat for a weekend dinner with family and friends.

Clafoutis aux poired or pears clafoutis

Why pears?

Why limit this wonderful dessert to cherries and summer? I love pears, and they are the poster child of autumn. Our store shelves are abundant and need a place at the table.

Pick your favorite pear. Please ensure they are ripe but not too ripe to make your dessert watery. They have to hold during the baking process.

Slice them evenly to all bake perfectly.

Why Brandy?

Besides loving the richness of the flavor, brandy is a spirit distilled from wine and other types of fermented juices. It can be produced using grapes and fruits, such as apples.

The combination of the brandy with the fruits and the egg custard is perfect. Not overwhelming, but subtle.

Why marinate the pears?

Letting the brandy infuse the pears gives a deeper flavor to this already gourmand dessert.

At the same time, the pears are infused, and the brandy is infused too. As you will see with the recipe, you will add the brandy to the egg custard, making it rich in flavor.

Regarding your question about alcohol content, most of the alcohol is burned off during the baking process but still leaves a minute trace behind. I would not recommend it to the little ones.

Clafoutis aux Poires

Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed for this clafoutis recipe

You can find the printable recipe with all the correct ingredient amounts at the bottom of this post.

Most ingredients are already in your pantry, making this dessert so desirable to prepare at any time.

Brandy: I recommended a good quality.

Pears: Bosc, Bartlet, or Anjou. They must be ripe but not so ripe that they fall apart when you peel them.

Vanilla sugar: See the below video for a quick tutorial. You only need sugar and vanilla pod.

All-purpose flour: Helps bind the eggs and heavy cream to create the custard.

Heavy cream: Gives richness while creating the custard

Butter: Unsalted would be best. It just needed to be spread all around the baking dish.

Sugar: Sprinkled over the butter forms a crust for the custard and the pears.

Powdered sugar: Sprinkle generously over the clafoutis at the finished step.

Clafoutis aux Poires

Equipment you will need

I have a kitchen filled with gadgets and cooking tools, all of which I purchased. I only recommend what I use and love.

To achieve this recipe, I used the following:

Sharp knife

Peeler

Cutting board

Shallow or Mixing bowl

Measuring cups

KitchenAid stand mixer or hand-held mixer

Spatula

Oval baking dish

Vanilla Sugar and how to make it

Having handy vanilla sugar is always a wonderful thing. It has so many uses. From coffee to dessert, a small jar is something we all should have in our pantry. Below is a quick video on how to.

You only need sugar and a vanilla bean pod that you will split. Remove the tiny black seeds and put everything together in a jar.

Shake and set aside. It stores well, and you will be amazed at how often you use it.

A short Video Tutorial on How To Make Vanilla Sugar. 

Baking tips and step by step on how to make this fantastic recipe for Clafoutis Aux Poires

This is the easiest dessert you will ever make. Prepare all your ingredients and start with the pears. Bring your eggs to room temperature while the pears are marinating.

  • Peel, core, and slice your pears. Add them to a shallow or large bowl.
  • Add the brandy over them and stir to coat all the pear wedges. Set aside for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Prepare the gratin dish with lots of butter and sugar. This will give a sweet crust to your custard.
  • Prepare the custard by beating the eggs until frothy. Add the vanilla sugar and beat until the cream foams.
  • Slowly add the flour, the heavy cream, and just a tiny pinch of salt.
  • Drain the pears and add the brandy to the egg-cream mixture.
  • Place your pears in your prepared gratin dish. Cover all corners by spreading them balanced in your dish.
  • Pour the batter over it. Shake the gratin dish a couple of times to settle the batter.

Bake and enjoy!

Clafoutis aux Poires

Recipe variations and substitutions

The traditional clafoutis or clafoutis aux cerises , is made with black cherries. If you are using cherries and want to do it the French way, leave them whole but do let your family and guest know about it. You lose so much of the richness of cherry by removing the pits early on.

Add apples to your pears. Both fruits marinade beautifully with the brandy. I have made it both ways, and it was a success each time.

Brandy can be substituted with Whiskey. Same rich flavor.

Vanilla sugar can be substituted with liquid vanilla. Just a couple of drops will do.

Just remember that clafoutis is a simple and rustic dessert that does not need too much fuss.

Storage instructions

Store covered at room temperature for a couple of days or refrigerated tightly covered for up to four days.

Clafoutis aux poires

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called clafoutis?

The name comes from the Occitan word “clafir” meaning “to fill”. It was popular to fill a dish with fruits and batter, and in the 19th century, clafoutis had spread from Limousin to other regions of France and bordering countries.

What spices go well with pears?

One of the most versatile fruit as it pairs well with allspice, anise, chives, black pepper, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, rosemary, tarragon, and thyme.

What is the best pear for baking?

First, your pears have to hold together well and have no bruising or a too soft areas. Bosc pears are the best, and Anjou is not far behind. Concorde and French butter pears are also reliable when baking.

If you enjoy this easy clafoutis aux poires recipe, look at some of my other recipes!

Brandy Chicken Piccata – Classic Dish With A Spin

Rosemary, Peas, Lemon Chicken

Poached Pears In Wine

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Clafoutis aux Poires

5 from 5 votes
Clafoutis aux Poires
Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Clafoutis aux poires. A simple basic dessert recipe made with fruit and custard-like creamy filling. It is delicious any time of the day and a breeze to make.

Ingredients 

Clafoutis

  • ½ cup brandy
  • 6 pears
  • 6 eggs, large
  • ½ cup vanilla sugar
  • ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • salt, pinch
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

For the Gratin Dish

  • butter
  • granulated sugar

Instructions

Preparing the Gratin Dish

  • Generously spread the softened butter all over the oval gratin dish. Add a couple of teaspoons of sugar and spread around to cover the whole gratin dish.
    Clafoutis aux poires

Clafoutis Aux Poires preparations

  • Pour the brandy into a shallow bowl large enough to hold the pears when cut.
  • Peel and core each pear then cut them into 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.
    Clafoutis aux poires
  • Preheat the oven to 400º.
  • Combine the eggs and vanilla sugar 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 marinated liquid to the batter. Mix until well blended.
  • Arrange the pears slices in the prepared baking dish. Pour the batter over the pears. Shake the pan to settle the batter.
    Clafoutis aux poires
  • 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. Once lukewarm, sprinkle on the powdered sugar.

Nutrition

Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 191mg | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 299mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 574IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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Originally published on December 5, 2016. Updated on December 7, 2022.