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Chocolate-Pear Clafoutis

During March, I am focusing on whole grains for National Nutrition Month. You may wonder how a dessert such as Claouti figures in here—it is because I make it with whole-grain, gluten-free flour. Whole grain flours are important to a gluten-free diet because they provide important nutrients and fiber.

Chocolate-Pear Clafoutis

Chocolate-Pear Clafoutis are lovely, yet so simple.

What is Clafouti?
This week, I feature Clafouti (or Clafoutis), an easy French dessert that is a cross between a flan, a pancake, and a torte and can be made with many different kinds of fruit. This version uses chocolate and pears (in season now) for an irresistible combination that is sure to please guests…..especially on a cold winter’s night when a warm dessert straight from the oven is so comforting. I have also used frozen dark (Bing or black) cherries and replaced the optional pear liqueur with Kirschwasser or cherry brandy.

Make Your Clafouti with Whole-Grain Flour
Another reason I like Claftouti is that it only uses a single flour and that flour can be anything you want. It’s an especially good recipe for trying out a whole-grain flour that might be new to your family and you want to give it a test run in a recipe that uses a limited amount. In addition to the flours mentioned in the ingredient list below, I have also used more exotic flours such as those made from grape skins…..if you can find them in specialty stores or online. Grapes may not qualify as a whole grain, but they are certainly interesting.

Clafoutis: Perfect for Beginners
Clafoutis is an especially good dessert for beginning cooks because it turns out perfect every time. Plus, mini-desserts are popular now, so these cute little treats are right in style. You can assemble the ingredients in the ramekins, refrigerate them, and then bake them while your guests enjoy dinner. The aroma coming from your kitchen signals a delightful dessert to come! By the time your guests are finished eating dinner, they can’t wait to delve into dessert!

 

Chocolate-Pear Clafoutis©

This cute little dessert is perfect for entertaining because it is already plated, eliminating last-minute cutting or slicing while your guests are patiently waiting for dessert. Feel free to vary the fruit… Bing cherries are another delectable choice paired with cherry brandy (Kirschwasser) or just use vanilla extract if alcohol is off-limits.

2 small firm ripe pears, peeled, cored, and diced
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cream or canned coconut milk or milk of choice
2 tablespoons butter or buttery spread, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons pear brandy or liqueur (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1/3 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
1/4 cup whole-grain GF flour such as amaranth, buckwheat, millet, sorghum, or teff
2 tablespoons cocoa (Dutch works best, but natural works too)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sliced almonds, for garnish
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, for dusting

[1] Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously grease six small ramekins (3.5-inch-diameter).

[2] Arrange diced pears in single layer in each ramekin. Set aside.

[3] In blender, process eggs, cream, butter, and pear brandy until very smooth. With blender running, gradually add 1/3 cup sugar, flour, and cocoa, and salt and process until very smooth, about 1 minute. Pour batter over pears and sprinkle with almonds and remaining tablespoon sugar.

[4] Bake until tops are puffy and almonds are golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately, since they fall quickly. Makes 6.

NOTE: If you use frozen Bing or dark (black) cherries, thaw them first and use 4 to 5 cherries per ramekin.

Calories: 190; 4g protein; 7g fat, 3g fiber; 26g carbohydrates; 74mg sodium; 75mg cholesterol

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