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      RECIPE TITLE "Pear Clafouti with Star Anise" Recipes from Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef , copyright © 1998 by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman. All rights reserved.

    ... more great recipes by Jean-Georges Vongerichten on our GREAT CHEFS page!

    yields-- time-- difficultymoderate

    If those who attack French chefs for using Asian ingredients in traditional French foods tasted this dish, they'd faint.

    The addition of star anise converts this home-style French dessert—essentially sweet pancake batter and fruit—into something exotic.

    1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, one half reserved for another use
    3 eggs
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    6 tablespoons flour, plus a little for dusting the pan
    3/4 cup cream, crème fraîche, or plain yogurt
    3/4 cup milk
    3 star anise, ground in a coffee grinder
    Pinch salt
    1 teaspoon butter
    4 ripe pears, about 6 ounces each, peeled
    1 teaspoon pear eau du vie or brandy (optional)
    Confectioners' suga


    1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Scrape the tiny seeds from one half of the vanilla bean.

    2. Beat the eggs with the vanilla seeds until frothy. Add the granulated sugar and beat with a whisk or hand or electric mixer until foamy and fairly thick.

    3. Add the flour and continue to beat until thick and smooth. Add the cream, crème fraîche, or yogurt, milk, anise, and salt. Let rest while you prepare the pears and the baking dish.

    4. Choose a 9 x 5 x 2-inch gratin dish or a 10-inch round deep pie plate or porcelain dish and smear it with the butter. Dust it with flour, rotating the pan so the flour sticks to all the butter, then inverting the dish to get rid of excess flour.

    5. Cut the pears into sixths or eighths, remove the cores, and layer them attractively in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle them with eau du vie, if you like. Pour the batter over, leaving just a little of the tops of the pears peeking through.

    6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the clafouti is nicely browned on top and a knife inserted into it comes out clean. Sift some confectioners' sugar over it and serve warm or at room temperature.

    HOT! We recommend:

    Jean-Georges Jean-Georges Four stars from the New York Times. The James Beard Award for Best Chef in New York City. Named Chef of the Year by Esquire, New York Magazine and Time Out New York. The cooking of Jean-Georges Vongerichten is sophisticated yet uncomplicated, hinting French and Asian influences yet entirely original and has earned raves and accolades from every quarter. Why? Because Vongerichten has invented a culinary style that is highly creative but uses few ingredients, intensely flavorful but remarkably simple. Now, Jean-Georges brings the phenomenal cuisine of his restaurants Vong, JoJo and Jean-Georges to the home kitchen at last. With readily accessible recipes using supermarket ingredients, Jean-Georges contains no mile-long lists of instructions, and many of the recipes take less than 30 minutes to prepare. Yielding maximum flavor with a minimalists touch for 150 no-fuss dishes you'll even want to make on weeknights, Jean-Georges is this season's most revolutionary cookbook. Julia Child Award Finalist


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