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City Palate Recipe: Almond Citrus Ricotta Cake

Desserts

Pear Clafouti with Honeyed Goat Cheese and Pinot Noir Reduction

May/Jun 2009
A clafouti (kla-foo-TEE) is a French country dessert made by topping fruit with an eggy batter that cooks up somewhere between a cake and a pudding. Cherries are traditional, but try any berry or soft stone fruit; plums, peaches or apricots would be phenomenal. If you have leftover pinot noir reduction, add it to vanilla ice cream in the blender to make a red wine milkshake.

Clafouti
1/4 c. butter
2 ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
2 T. sugar
3 large eggs
1 - 1/3 c. half and half cream
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 t. cinnamon
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 450°F. Melt the butter in a large ovenproof skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the pears and sprinkle the sugar overtop, tossing to coat the pears well. Put the pan into the oven and roast for 20 minutes, until the pears soften and begin to turn golden, and all the liquid has evaporated. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

Meanwhile, blend the eggs, cream, sugar and vanilla in a blender or in a bowl with a wire whisk. Add the flour, cinnamon and salt and blend until smooth. Pour over the cooked pears and place the pan back into the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, until set and golden.

Honeyed Goat Cheese

5 oz soft goat cheese
1 T. good quality runny honey

Beat honey into the goat cheese until smooth. Add a little cream if you’d like to soften the mixture further.

Mulled Pinot Noir Reduction

1 c. medium-bodied red wine, such as pinot noir
1 c. sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods, lightly crushed (optional)
1 strip each of orange and lemon zest
2 whole cloves

Combine all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until syrupy. This can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored in the refrigerator – warm on the stovetop or in the microwave. Makes about 2 cups.

Serve the clafouti warm or at room temperature cut into wedges, topped with a dollop of honeyed goat cheese and a drizzle of pinot noir reduction. Serves 4.