As I mentioned last week, the produce of Summer and the produce of Fall are doing a little dance at the markets, and it's a great time to get in the kitchen and try out some new recipes. This week, the tomatoes are still going strong, the eggplants perfectly ripe, but it's the Fall fruit that's catching my eye.
I live my days as a pastry chef so it is no surprise that I am drawn to the sweeter offerings of the market: the fruits. Every season comes with it's charms, but Fall with it's apples, pears, and persimmons, oh my! It's heaven. It's the perfect season to curl up, bake something sweet, and shop for it all at your Community Farmers Market.
For this week's recipe, I wanted to do something delicious with pears that I got from the one and only Ranger Robby, who you will see roaming around East Atlanta Farmers Market on Thursday. He is responsible for growing the garden in the back and educating lots of us on what is growing (and fruiting) in and around the city. He also just so happens to be a forager with Concrete Jungle (check them out if you haven't already). I also spotted some vendors rolling out with pears at Grant Park this weekend, so be on the lookout and pick some up. They are perfectly sweet this year and wonderful to bake with.
One of my favorite books to bake from is from a bakery in San Francisco called Tartine. They make amazing bread and even more amazing French style pastries, and their recipe for clafoutis is one of my favorites. It is a traditional french style custard pancake baked with unpitted cherries. Changing the fruit gives it a different name, a flaugnarde, but the recipe remains the same. It is a great recipe for brunch or paired perfectly with vanilla ice cream for dessert. It lasts well covered in the fridge for 3-4 doors, but I'm assuming it won't last that long.
I used a mandolin to shave the pear into thin strips, but you can chop it however you like...
servings 8-10 time 1 hr
adapted from Tartine
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- Pinch salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 1.5 cups chopped/mandolined pears
- 1 TBS butter
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons sugar, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Butter a 9 inch pie pan or quiche mold.
- Melt 1 TBS butter in a saucepan and toss prepared pears in to coat. sprinkle 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp nutmeg and coat pears.
- In a small saucepan, combine milk, sugar, vanilla seeds and salt. Place over a medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar until just under a boil.
- While the milk mixture is heating, whisk the eggs and flour together in a heatproof bowl until smooth.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly ladle the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Pour the mixture into the prepared mold and add the prepared pears, making sure they are evenly distributed.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until just set in the center and slightly puffed and browned around the outside. Remove the custard from the oven and turn the temperature up to 500ºF. Evenly sprinkle the sugar over the top of the clafoutis. Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes to caramelize the sugar. Watch carefully as it will darken quickly.
- Let cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.