Still looking at ways to get around using dairy with lactose, whether in desserts or main dishes. Coconut milk comes in handy as a substitute in desserts, and I find the coconut taste mild enough that it doesn’t interfere with and can even enhance certain foods. The full fat coconut milk is also a good substitute for cream, as in today’s clafoutis.
Clafoutis is a kind of custard-meets-genoise with embedded fresh fruit, using not too much sugar and not too much flour—those are the two things I’m concerned with, while my husband can’t handle the lactose. I’m starting with Ina Garten’s recipe, leaving out the lemon zest and pear brandy in favor of the coconut flavor. I wish I had a prettier dish for it, but the old Pyrex pie dish will have to do, so I’ll try to compensate with a pretty design of the fruit slices.
I could have wished for pears that were just a little more ripe—probably just waiting until tomorrow would have been enough. It seems with pears they are either too ripe or not ripe enough at any given moment. Still, it came out as planned and is a wonderfully light dessert with which to highlight your favorite fruit, including the traditional cherry.
Pear Clafouti with Coconut Milk
Preheat oven to 375°; butter a 10″ round baking dish or pie plate with sides of at least 1 1/2″ and dust with granulated sugar.
1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon sugar for preparing baking dish
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened full fat coconut milk—Do not shake the can first. Scoop out the fat at the top of the can and then add enough of the remaining milk in the can to make up the required amount.
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large, ripe Bartlett pears
- Beat the eggs and sugar for about 3 minutes with a hand or stand mixer.
- Add the remaining ingredients on low speed. Set aside while you prepare the pears.
- Peel, core, and slice the pears, either vertically or horizontally (I did both). Arrange the pears in the prepared baking dish in any design you like or no design at all.
- Pour the batter over the pears and bake for about 35 minutes. Let cool a bit, then slice or scoop out with a large spoon. I tried to keep my pear arrangement intact in serving, but that’s not really important. I would just as soon have it in a bowl.
I suppose you will want to garnish it, but I think you get more of an appreciation of the custard-like cake without any further additions.