Foodie Friday: Pear, Blackberry and Eau-de-vie Flaugnarde

pearblackberryflaugnarde(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
3 ripe pears
150g blackberries
4 tbsp pear eau-de-vie or Calvados
25g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

For the batter:
150ml milk
150ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 eggs
125g caster sugar
50g plain flour, sifted
Icing sugar, to serve

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Halve and core the pears, then cut lengthways into 5mm slices. Put immediately into a bowl with the blackberries. Pour over the eau-de-vie and toss well to cover.
2. Make the batter. Mix the milk, cream and vanilla essence together. Butter a gratin dish (metal or cast iron is best as it conducts the heat well). Using a slotted spoon, arrange the fruit in the dish and add any remaining eau-de-vie to the batter mixture.
2. Using a powerful beater, whisk the eggs, sugar and a pinch of salt together in a large bowl until the mixture triples in volume and is pale and fluffy. Fold in the flour, then add the milk mixture.
4. Pour the batter onto the fruit, dot with the butter and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the batter is set. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes. Sift a little icing sugar over the top before serving warm.

Tip: You need perfectly ripe pears for this. If you can’t find them, then first poach the pear slices in a sugar syrup or sauté in butter until tender.

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