Photograph by Gentl and Hyers Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Kim Ficaro


Brown Butter and Pear Lunar Clafoutis

Desserts from Issue 8 – Winter 2016 – Origin

It was Galileo who first got a close-up glimpse of the moon and its dusty, crater-dimpled surface when he pointed his tiny telescope towards the night sky in 1609. That the celestial wonder looms large for us earthlings makes sense; it is our closest neighbor in space. Our brown butter and pear clafoutis, which mimics its mysterious pocked surface, will have a similar magnetism.

serves 6

  • 2 ½ Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for buttering dish
  • 3 firm ripe Anjou pears, peeled and scooped into balls with a melon baller (about 1½ cups)
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 ⅓ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • tsp almond extract
  • confectioners’ sugar for dusting

  • 1

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 1½ to 2 qt ovenproof baking dish pretty enough to serve from.

  • 2

    Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat until it’s lightly browned and smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Add pear balls and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until pears are lightly caramelized, about 4 minutes. Scatter pears with their brown butter in prepared dish.

  • 3

    In a blender, combine the eggs, milk, sugar, flour, cardamom, extract, and ¼ tsp salt until smooth.

  • 4

    Pour batter over pears and bake until pale golden and just set, about 40 to 45 minutes. A sharp knife inserted into the custard should come out clean. Clafoutis will sink slightly as it rests. Serve warm or at room temperature dusted with confectioners’ sugar.