April 2, 2009
With a rare, wide open weekend schedule, Mike and I made last minute plans to have people over for dinner saturday night. We always talk about having people over without worrying about the house being in tip-top shape or planning a perfect menu. And I always fail. Which makes Mike want to avoid last minute invites. But this time I promised I wouldn’t go crazy cleaning or cooking, and actually made good on my word.
Having found Cacio Di Roma at Whole Foods I decided to make the classic Roman Cacio e Pepe. I cooked the pasta before guests arrived and then tossed with olive oil, butter, cacio, and black pepper right before serving. It turned out to be just as easy as it sounds, but it wasn’t very good. I was way more relaxed than usual while hosting (a good thing) and got my ratios all wrong while chatting up a storm (a bad thing). Thankfully, a raspberry pear clafouti that I made ahead of time saved the night.
Clafouti is not an especially abstemious dessert, but it’s by no means a sugar bomb. And, as sweet desserts go, it does a good job of showcasing fruit. Isaac had leftovers after dinner the next day–he loved it. And if you’re into sweet breakfasts, skip the chocolate croissant for leftover clafouti. Clafouti bonus points: it seems much fancier than it is to make.
Raspberry Pear Clafouti
(can be served to kids 12+ mos)
unsalted organic butter, for baking dish
1/2 cup organic flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/4 cups organic whole milk
1/3 cup organic sugar
3 organic eggs
1 tbsp organic vanilla (you can use alcohol free)
1 tsp organic nutmeg
1 tbsp organic cardamom
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup organic raspberries, washed and gently dried
1 large organic pear, peeled, cored, cut lengthwise into 1/8″ thick slices (I used Bosc, but any kind will work)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 10″ ceramic baking dish and lightly dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, mix milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, flour, nutmeg, and cardamom until smooth. Pour a thin layer of batter into prepared dish. If your dish is flameproof (ceramic is), set it over a burner with low heat. Otherwise, place it in the oven. Heat until batter sets evenly across the bottom.
3. Remove dish from heat. Fan pears over bottom of dish, pour remaining batter on top, and sprinkle with raspberries. Bake for about 35 minutes until clafouti sets. It’s done when it’s puffed and golden brown. (You can check by sticking a knife or toothpick into the center–it should come out clean.) Let cool before slicing into wedges. If you want to get fancy, serve sprinkled with a little powdered sugar and/or cinnamon.
Note: clafouti can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 day.