Pear & Chocolate Clafouti

Adapted from a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi

from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook

Makes 4 large individual servings

2x large ripe, but not soft, pears (I used Beurre Bosc)

3x large free-range eggs

70g (2-1/2 oz) caster sugar

70g (2-1/2 oz) plain flour

1 teaspoon vanilla paste (I used Heilalla)

150ml (5 fl oz) cream

pinch of salt

100g (3.5 oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped (I used Whittaker's Dark Ghana)

icing sugar to dust

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (340 degrees F).  Use medium sized individual, ovenproof dishes or tins - I used some gratin dishes which were 14 cm (5-1/2 in) in diameter, and 4 cm (1-1/2 in) deep.  Lightly brush the insides of the dishes with a little vegetable oil and set aside.

Peel the pears, cut in half, and remove the cores.  Now slice thinly lengthwise, without slicing all the way through, so that the slices remained attached to each other at the stem end.  Fan out the slices from the stem and place half a pear in the base of each dish.  Sprinkle one quarter of the chocolate over each one.

Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a medium sized mixing bowl and the whites in a small one.

Add the caster sugar to the egg yolks and, using an electric mixer, beat until the mixture is thick and pale.  With a rubber spatula, fold in the flour, then gently mix in the vanilla paste, cream and salt.

Whisk the egg whites to stiff, but not dry, peak stage.  Then gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

Pour the mixture over the pears and chocolate, and bake in the preheated oven until puffed and golden, and skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean - about 20 minutes.

Dust with icing sugar just before serving.