I have been waiting all summer long to make this simple pear dessert from Barefoot in Paris. I am always in the lookout for simple rustic dessert like this one to try and I was looking forward to make this dessert when pears are beautiful in the fall. A few weeks ago, I tried to hunt down some pears from my local grocery store and didn’t see any nice looking pears. But their Asian pears look amazingly perfect, so I bought those instead. And with the luck of the draw, the groceries somehow incorrectly priced these pears. I came out from the check out lane terrified that I had just paid $12 for four of these pears. I turned around and inquired about the price disrepancy … and voila, they told me that I would receive these pears for free since they made a mistake. I came out feeling like a winner!
But seriously, aside that it made me excited that I got one of my ingredients for free, this dessert was a gem! If you’re looking for a different type of dessert that is not a pie, a cake, or a cheesecake–this is worth trying! I did not have pear brandy or lemon zest, so I skipped those. But I still adored the flavor! The house smelled amazing when it was baking in the oven. The custard was delicious and the sweetness of the pears complemented the creamy and light–and not too sweet batter. I will definitely make this again, probably trying different type of fruits.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons pear brandy (recommended: Poire William)
2 to 3 firm but ripe Bartlett pears
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter a 10 by 3 by 1 1⁄2-inch round baking dish and sprinkle the bottom and sides with 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar.
Beat the eggs and the 1⁄3 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the flour, cream, vanilla extract, lemon zest, salt, and pear brandy. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel, quarter, core, and slice the pears. Arrange the slices in a single layer, slightly fanned out, in the baking dish. Pour the batter over the pears and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is firm, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, and creme fraiche.
Yield: 8 servings