Pear Almond Clafoutis (Flognarde)

A rustic French dessert that defies classification.

Pear Almond Clafoutis Pear Almond Clafoutis (Flognarde)

This past weekend I had a yearning for clafoutis.  My stomach rumbles at more or less regular intervals at the thought of this classic dessert that every French grandmother has in her repertoire.

Clafoutis is one of those rustic desserts that defies classification.  A cross between a custard, a thick pancake, and a flan; it’s neither complicated nor intricate but it’s absolutely irresistible.  In essence, it amounts to a moist crêpe-like batter studded with fruit.

What makes it great isn’t the complexity of preparation or presentation but rather the pure unpretentious flavors of the few ingredients it contains.

Pears in Basket Pear Almond Clafoutis (Flognarde)

Hailing from the Limousin region of France clafoutis is typically made with un-pitted cherries.  However, it’s a classic throughout all of France, and you will find each region and family has their favorite recipe each slightly different from the other.

So the question arises: can I call this recipe a clafoutis even though it’s made with pears? Traditionally the answer would be “no” as other fruit versions are referred to as flognarde.  But nowadays the term clafoutis has come to encompass all fruits and there are even savory variations on the classic version.

However you choose to call it, the real joy of this dessert is how simple it is to make. Whatever fruits you send its direction, clafoutis receives them graciously and with open arms, transforming them into a soft, sweet and charmingly rustic dessert.

Grain Free Pear Almond Clafoutis Pear Almond Clafoutis (Flognarde)

My version is not only gluten-free, it’s grain free as it’s made with almond flour.  It’s also made with un-refined sugar and is low in sugar over-all, the sweetness coming primarily from the pears.  Throw a few ingredients in the blender, into the oven it goes, and you’ll soon be greeted by the ambrosial smell of tender sweet pears.

Served warm from the oven, this softly slumped dessert is luscious but quite light from the tender pieces of juicy pears.  It’s a comforting dessert, the edible equivalent of a well-worn pair of cozy slippers, a little rough around the edges but altogether loveable et un vrai regal (and a real treat)!

Have you ever had clafoutis?  What’s your favorite comforting dessert?

Pear Almond Clafoutis Recipe (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 6 to 8

Grain Free Pear Almond Clafoutis Pear Almond Clafoutis (Flognarde)

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil or unsalted butter, for baking dish
  • 2-3 large Bosc pears, halved lengthwise, cored and sliced thinly
  • 250g/ 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Poire Williams (pear brandy or you can also use cognac)
  • 50g/ 1/4 cup unrefined sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • 60g/ 1/2 cup almond flour (or regular flour if gluten-free is not a concern for you)
  • ¼ tsp of fine sea salt
  • 28g/ ¼ cup sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet or 10-inch ceramic tart dish or 9 1/2-inch pie plate with butter or coconut oil; set aside.
  2. Fan cut pears over bottom of prepared dish.
  3. Blend coconut milk, eggs, vanilla, pear brandy, coconut sugar, almond flour, and salt in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. The mixture will be thin, like crêpe batter.
  4. Pour batter over pears. Sprinkle sliced almonds over batter.
  5. Bake until golden and set, about 35-40 minutes.
  6. Let stand 10-15 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo, Vegetarian

http://gourmandeinthekitchen.com/2011/pear-almond-clafoutis-flognarde-gluten-free-grain-free/
 Pear Almond Clafoutis (Flognarde)

pixel Pear Almond Clafoutis (Flognarde)

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  1. says

    I’ve totally fallen for your description of this amazing treat. If only it were alcohol free, it’d be baking it as soon as I go find the ingredients. Hey Sylvie, any substitute for alcohol?

    • says

      The alcohol is entirely optional. You can leave it out or you can replace it with a little extra vanilla extract or even a tiny bit of almond extract would be nice too.

  2. says

    Have you ever had clafoutis? = yes, I made one last summer and posted about it with mixed berries. They are so easy. It’s like pancake batter in a blender and pour over fruit and bake. I wish more people would try them!

    Yours w/ coconut milk and pears…swoon :)

  3. says

    I adore the texture of clatoufis, and I’ve actually never tried making one myself! I should, for sure. Gorgeous dish, and I love the flavor combination – pears and almonds are such a wonderful pairing.

  4. says

    Beautiful! I remember when clafoutis was all over the blogs a few months ago when cherries were in season. I’ve never tried it, but you’re tempting me to make a pear version. Yum!

  5. says

    I haven’t met a rustic French dessert that I haven’t liked, a clafoutis included. One, there’s no fear factor in making them because they’re so easy. Two, they always, always turn out great. You pear almond version is no exception, Sylvie. :)

  6. says

    I just entered my name in your drawing. This is why I need a cast iron pan. Your clafoutis came out so brown and crisp looking. I have never made or even heard of clafoutis before but it looks so delish that I am going to have to give it a try. I love trying new things and pairs are in season right now, so why not!

    Jackie :)

  7. says

    Just gorgeous – i made a strawberry clatoutis last year and it was really good. I don’t know if i am a big fan of them the consistency is a little puddingish but still good. My comfort dessert is Swedish brownies :)

  8. Carrie says

    This looks beautiful! I would love to make it for new year’s eve. Do you think light coconut milk would be ok? I happen to have that on hand already.

    • says

      You know I’m not sure since I’ve never tested it with the light coconut milk, but clafoutis is very forgiving and can be made with everything from heavy cream to regular milk in most traditional recipes so I think you should be fine.

  9. says

    I’ve never made clafoutis and I see so many pretty pictures of them, I think I might finally have to jump in and try one. Just to e clear its your slightly alcoholic version that tipped me over the line though…

  10. says

    I love clafoutis but the idea of using beautiful, wintery pears is wonderful. And I think it hardly matters what you call it – when a dessert looks this delicious people are unlikely to mind.

  11. Sandrine says

    For french people clafoutis is made with cherries and flognarde with every other fruits. (But the receipe is exactly the same).
    Yours looks really great !!!

  12. says

    I love the photos of the pears in the straw, they look like they are standing up like little soldiers. I love clafoutis and my mother makes a delicious one. Your pear version looks great.

  13. says

    Love this! I didn’t know that once you changed the fruit, this was called flognard, so interesting. Will be trying this for the holidays, perfect for our family since it’s gluten and dairy free. Thank you!

  14. says

    Sylvie, this is a marvelous recipe. I love the almond flour here and then you top it off with coconut milk and Poire Williams! Very unusual.
    I remember, when I posted a recipe for cherry clafouti, there was a discussion about purists demanding only cherries in a clafouti. :)

  15. says

    I did not know that about the fruit. Love trivia info like that!
    Looks beautiful. I’ve been wanting to try making a clafoutis, but never have had it. I think I will have to try this one.

  16. says

    Love this!!! I have made something similar before, but used gluten-free grain flours as opposed to almond flour. Your version sounds fabulous, and I am drooling over the gorgeous pear photos!

  17. says

    I love the rustic feel of this sweet treat…Feels like what grandma used to serve. I am not fond of using brandy or cognac in my baked goods, but I think I’ll have to try it with this French treat. To have a more authentic feel. A must try. Thanks for posting.

  18. Madonna says

    My question is a little off topic; I see your recipe calls for coconut oil. I thought any solid fat was considered not good for you, but now the opinion seems to be changing and now it is really healthful for you. Even Dr. Oz seems to think it is good for us. I am not sure if it really is, or if the coconut lobbyist are just really good at their job. Can you tell me anything about it? I have bought some, but it is so solid I have concerns.

  19. says

    You know, I made an apple flognarde once. I have to go back and see what the difference is, but, as you say, no matter how you call it, it is delicious! And husband will love it with pears!

  20. says

    This is so beautiful! You always take super nice photos. I made a few of your dishes in the past and this will be a future dish to try. Congratulations again on top 9!

  21. Mark says

    I guess I have made a clafouti before: I sort of made
    it up, didn’t really have a recipe or even know a pro-
    cess. I just did a custard with eggs, cream, sugar, a
    little salt, a bit of flour, a little vanilla. I put
    it in a buttered metal loaf pan with lots of thinly
    sliced Italian sour plums, and then baked it in the
    oven, sitting in a glass casserole dish filled with
    boiling water about half way up. I let it cool quite
    a bit, then stuck it in the refrigerator for a
    couple of hours. It was really good. Is that a
    clafouti? Like I said: I thought I had made it up,
    when I did it this last August. (I guess there’s not
    a lot really new in the World). Maybe I have French
    grandmother genes.. Merry Xmas! Mark

  22. Ann says

    Looks DELICIOUS!! And I LOVE the ingredients!! So glad I found your site –not to mention your photography is AMAZING!! Thank you!!

  23. Soumya says

    Hi,
    I just made this dessert yesterday after seein your recipe!! It did turn out good. Quick question though.. how is it suposed to taste?? Mine was not soo sweet… I have never had a clafouti before so i dont know what its supposed to be like.Thanks for the great recipe and photos..

    • says

      Hi Soumya, the dessert relies heavily on the sweetness of the fruit so the ripeness of your fruit may change the sweetness of the final result. I created the recipe to be very lightly sweet, if you want it a little sweeter feel free to increase the amount of unrefined sugar in the recipe to your personal taste.

  24. says

    hmmm…interesting use of coconut oil for the pan…i love coconut oil! and i also love pears and clafoutis in general!!! i always make this for my family…with a bit of pear eau-de-vie or Poire Williams! Yumm-o!

  25. Anu says

    I tried this today and it was delicious!!! I used Pink Lady apples instead of pears and heavy cream instead of coconut milk. Wonderful!

  26. Elle says

    I just made this one today with apples.

    Used rum instead of pear brandy and only 35g sugar. Was sweet enough for both of us.

    Instead of unbleached almond flour I milled unbleached almonds. Worked out great!

    Thanks for sharing. Great recipe for both lactose intolerant and celiac.

    Elle

  27. Liz says

    Just made this and it came out great! I’ve never had or made clafoutis before but it reminded me of dutch babies. I didn’t have pear brandy so I used what I had on hand – apple cognac. My husband thought I should have put more than 1 Tbls in. Maybe next time I’ll try 2. I definitely will be making again. What I loved about this recipe is that it is not too sweet. I don’t eat refined sugar and generally don’t like overly sweet foods. This satisfied my sweet tooth. Because it’s not too sweet, I think it would be good for breakfast too. Loved it! Thank you for sharing it!

    • says

      You’d be better off making it fresh as it will get soggy if frozen and thawed due to the fresh pears, not to mention that it tastes best fresh. You can however whip up just the batter ahead of time and keep that in the fridge and then pour it over the sliced pears when you are ready to bake it.

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