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Almond Pear Clafouti

A clafouti is a French dessert whereby fresh fruits are topped with a pancake-like batter and then baked.  It should be served hot with fresh cream or ice cream.  This version, adapted from Gourmet magazine, combines almond flavoring with fresh pears, but many different fruits could be used including the traditional cherries.

4 firm-ripe    pears (any type is fine), peeled cored and sliced
2 tablespoons    fresh lemon juice
cup    sliced almonds, divided
cup    whole milk
cup    unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 large    eggs, lightly beaten
teaspoon    vanilla extract
teaspoon    almond extract
cup    self-rising flour (see note below)
8 tablespoons    granulated sugar, divided
cup    confectioners sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Butter a 9" to 10" deep-dish, glass pie plate (non-stick spray is fine.)  In the pie dish, toss the pears with the lemon juice and spread them evenly across the bottom.

In a blender finely grind cup of the almonds, add the milk, 6 tablespoons of the butter, the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, and blend until smooth.

In a bowl whisk together the flour, cup of the sugar and a pinch of salt.  Stir in the milk mixture, stirring until the batter is completely combined.  Pour the batter over the pears, drizzle it with the remaining melted butter, sprinkle it with the remaining granulated sugar (for caramilzation) and the remaining almonds.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.  Allow it to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before dusting the top with confectioners sugar and serving.

Note:  If you don't have self rising flour you can make your own by adding baking powder to regular flour.  Simply add 1 teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt for each cup of flour. For this recipe, calling for cup of self-rising flour, adding slightly less than a teaspoon of the baking powder should do it.


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