Clafoutis au Poires et Miel

This clafoutis is unique — with the honey and the egg whites, it makes a richly flavored, elegant dessert. Comice pears are ideal, though any perfectly ripe, fragrant pear makes a delicious clafoutis.

3 large pears (1- ½ pounds;750g total) pears, peeled, cored, and cut in sixths

1/3 cup (5 tablespoons;75ml) mild but perfumed liquid honey, such as lavender

4 large eggs

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (115g) flour

¼ cup (50g) sugar

Pinch fine sea salt

1 cup (250ml) milk

4 tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the caramel:

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons water

  1. Preheat the oven 400°F (200°C). Butter and flour an 11-inch (27-½ cm) round baking dish.
  2. Arrange the pears in an attractive pattern in the baking dish. Drizzle them evenly with the honey.
  3. Separate three of the eggs. In a large bowl mix the flour, all but 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and the salt. Make a well in the center and add the three egg yolks and the one whole egg. Reserve the egg whites. Whisk together the egg yolks and the whole egg, add the milk, then gradually whisk in the dry ingredients to make a smooth batter. Quickly but thoroughly whisk in the melted butter.
  4. Whisk the egg whites with a small pinch of salt until they are foamy. Add the remaining tablespoon of sugar and continue whisking until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter, then pour the batter over the pears. Bake in the center of the oven until the clafoutis is puffed and golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  5. To make the caramel, heat the tablespoon of sugar with the water in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally to evenly distribute the sugar, until the mixture turns a deep golden brown, which will take 3 to 5 minutes. Don’t stir the sugar, which might encourage it to crystallize, just rotate the pan so the sugar and water caramelize evenly. When the sugar has caramelized, drizzle it over the top of the clafoutis. Wait about 5 minutes so the caramel hardens, then serve.

6 to 8 servings

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