French Pear Clafoutis Recipe • Curious Cuisiniere (2024)

Clafoutis might sound like a fancy name, but it’s a surprisingly easy French dessert. This French pear clafoutis combines tender, sweet pears with a custard-like base. It is so comforting and delicious. Perfect for fall baking!

French Pear Clafoutis Recipe • Curious Cuisiniere (1)

While French cooking gets the reputation for being fancy and complicated, with things like fine patisserie, there is another side to French cooking that is much more simple and rustic.

This includes hearty mains like cassoulet and boeuf Bourguignon, and desserts like fruit galette (like blueberry galette) and clafoutis.

What is clafoutis?

Clafoutis is a French dessert that combines fruit with a custard-like mixture, similar to flan.

The base is predominantly eggs and milk with a touch of flour and a few flavorings. This custard sets once it is baked and is best enjoyed warm.

With no pastry crust and minimal preparation, clafoutis is a very easy dish to make. But it looks like it has taken much more effort to prepare!

French Pear Clafoutis Recipe • Curious Cuisiniere (2)

What kind of fruit can you add to clafoutis?

Probably the most famous and classic version is cherry clafoutis, where there is a tasty balance of sweet and tart.

You can also use many other summer berries and fruit like raspberry, apricot or blueberry clafoutis.

However it’s not just a dessert for summer, it can also be made with fall fruits like apple and pear. Pear works particularly well as the fruit becomes wonderfully tender and sweet as it baked.

Should you use milk, cream or yogurt in the base?

If you search through different recipes for clafoutis, you will find a mixture of ways to make it, despite how relatively simple it is. Some recipes use just milk, others cream, others a mixture of milk with cream or yogurt.

From what I can establish, milk is the most traditional, but I can understand why some recipes use some cream or yogurt. They make the custard base slightly thicker and richer.

For me, all cream is too rich compared to the original dessert, but feel free to swap out 1/4 of the milk for cream if you would like it a little richer.

French Pear Clafoutis Recipe • Curious Cuisiniere (3)

Pear brandy or not?

A number of recipes add some pear brandy either to soak the pears in or in with the base.

This would certainly give a little extra flavor, but I decided not to use it. I was conscious that I didn’t want it to overpower the pears themselves which, to me, are the star.

I instead kept with the classic vanilla and lemon zest (with a relatively high amount of vanilla to get the slightly nutty flavor coming through). It works wonderfully like this, and is also more family-friendly. But, feel free to try both ways.

If you use brandy, I’d suggest no more than 1/2 Tbsp and reduce the vanilla by half.

What dish to use to bake clafoutis

Clafoutis is traditionally baked in a ceramic baking dish, but you can also make it in a cast iron skillet, as I did here.

Either will work. You will likely get more browning around the edges with a skillet, and it may crisp slightly. While you may need to cook a minute or two longer if you use a baking dish. (Sarah and Tim often use a pie pan to make their clafoutis.)

French Pear Clafoutis Recipe • Curious Cuisiniere (4)

Adding ingredients to your dish

Some recipes I found had you cook a little of the base before layering in the pears. The idea is to make sure there is a layer of the base underneath the pears.

I found this both unnecessary and potentially hazardous. The pears floated up slightly when I added the base, so it formed a layer underneath naturally.

Plus, it avoids trying to add the pears to a hot dish.

French Pear Clafoutis Recipe • Curious Cuisiniere (5)

What kind of pears should you use to make pear clafoutis?

I would recommend Bartlett or D’Anjou pears for this clafoutis. Both have a good texture and flavor.

These pears are also less likely to be “mealy” which you definitely don’t want when cooking. And they hold their form during cooking.

How ripe should the pears be?

For recipes like this where you are cooking the pears, you want them to be just ripe, but not over-ripe.

If using Bartlett or D’Anjou, they should be slightly yellow in color, rather than green. And, they should give a little when you gently squeeze them near the neck.

However, they should not give too much or be too soft. If so, they will be likely to disintegrate when cooked.

French Pear Clafoutis Recipe • Curious Cuisiniere (6)

Can children help to make pear clafoutis?

Absolutely! Kids can do almost every aspect of making this, depending on ability, such as:

  • crack eggs
  • measure other ingredients
  • mix the base
  • peel and cut the pears – While pears can be slippy, they are also soft, so good to practice cutting with a kid’s knife. (Tip: you can use a melon baller to remove the core.)
  • butter the baking dish/skillet
  • arrange the pear slices in the dish

Plus, if your kids are anything like mine, they will happily help you eat it!

The clafoutis base is gently sweet, but not too much, since the pears themselves become wonderfully sweet when cooked. So it’s a great, not-too-sweet dessert that you can feel pretty good about the kids diving into!

This pear clafoutis is a wonderfully easy fall-flavored take on the classic French dessert. Comforting and flavorful, it can also pass for brunch.

Find whichever excuse you like!

Yield: 1 (8 inch) skillet or baking dish

French Pear Clafoutis Recipe • Curious Cuisiniere (7)

This French pear clafoutis combines tender, sweet pears with a custard-like base. It is so comforting and delicious. Perfect fall baking!

Prep Time15 minutes

Cook Time35 minutes

Total Time50 minutes


  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (45g)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 small-medium pears (Bartlett or D’Anjou), just ripe
  • 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter (to grease the skillet)


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease an 8 inch, cast iron skillet or similar sized baking dish with some butter.
  2. Put the eggs and sugar in a bowl or mixer and whisk well until well broken up and combined. Add the milk, flour, vanilla, lemon zest and salt and mix/whisk until smooth.
  3. Peel the pears, cut in half and remove the core. Cut into slices and arrange in the bottom of the skillet/baking dish - you can fan them out slightly as I did or arrange any other way you choose.
  4. Carefully pour the batter into the skillet/baking dish over the pears.
  5. Bake in the oven for roughly 35 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges and set.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before serving. It will probably be puffed up when you take it out the oven and collapse slightly after a minute.
  7. Sprinkle with a little confectioner’s sugar to serve, if desired.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/3 of recipe

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 252

If you liked this recipe, here are some similar dishes you may enjoy!

  • Cherry Clafoutis and Brut Rose Wine Pairing
  • Poaching Fruit: Crepes with White Wine Poached Pears
  • Sharlotka (Russian Apple Cake)
  • Basic Spanish Flan
  • Sweet French Crepes
  • Wiener Apfelstrudel (Viennese Apple Strudel)
  • Colombian Natilla (Cinnamon Milk Custard)
  • Mango Creme Brulee

French Pear Clafoutis Recipe • Curious Cuisiniere (19)


Caroline lived and traveled various places before settling in Cambridge, MA. She still fits in some travel with her family, but often settles for traveling through food instead. She shares her recipes at, where there’s plenty of international inspiration using seasonal ingredients, as well as creative recipes for all to enjoy. Caroline is originally from Scotland, where she grew up hiking and skiing, both things she still loves to do when her two young boys give her a chance. You can follow along with her cooking adventures on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

French Pear Clafoutis Recipe • Curious Cuisiniere (2024)
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