Savory Pear Clafoutis

Time 45 minutes
Yields Serves 4
Butter-sautéed pears are the ideal balance to rich the cream and eggs in this classic French dessert-turned-savory side dish.
(Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
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Pears in particular keep just enough of their inherent sweetness against the savory custard; it’s almost like Yorkshire pudding squared, and it goes with any roast (and most other main courses). Comice and Anjou are the best choices, but Bosc will work.

And Seckels are a pear apart. They’re tiny but suited to salt. The good thing is that the pears do not have to be dead ripe as they should be when you are looking primarily for sweetness; a little on the firm side is actually better here.


Peel, core, quarter and slice the pears very thin. Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and saute the slices until they soften, without letting them brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter 4 (4-inch-wide) ramekins or tart pans.


Mix the eggs and cream in a bowl and season with the salt and pepper. Stir in the pears. Divide the mixture among the ramekins. Bake 15 minutes.


Let the clafoutis sit 5 minutes, then turn out onto serving plates. Garnish with cracked black pepper.

This is adapted from “The Cuisine of Jacques Maximim,” edited and adapted by Caroline Conran. Apples can be substituted for the pears. Maximim suggests serving it with terrine of foie gras, but it also would complement roast chicken, grilled duck, seared steak or sauteed veal.