Onolicious as one would say in Hawaii…don’t let the length of the recipe intimidate you. It’s mostly prep and after that it moves along rather fast, especially when parts of it can be made ahead of time which helps immensely. The balance is perfect with the smooth sweetness of the pastrycream-clafouti and the cider sauce along with the crispy slightly salty texture of the phyllo. Ooooo, won’t be too far in the future to repeat the fun once again.
yield: Makes 6 servings
For phyllo crisps
For pastry cream
For almond cream
Make phyllo crisps: Arrange 1 sheet of phyllo on a work surface (keep remaining sheets covered), then brush with some butter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Cut sheet in half crosswise to form 2 rectangles and crumple each into a peaked free-form round, about 4 inches in diameter. Transfer to a baking sheet with a metal spatula and form 4 more crisps in same manner with remaining phyllo, butter, and sugar. Let dry, uncovered, at room temperature at least 8 hours.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 500°F.
Bake crisps until golden, 2 to 4 minutes (watch closely, since they burn easily). Transfer with spatula to a rack to cool.
Make pastry cream: Whisk together yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar in a metal bowl. Sift flour and cornstarch into bowl and whisk until combined well.
Scrape seeds from vanilla beans with a sharp knife into a small heavy saucepan, reserving pods for another use. Add milk and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and bring to a boil.
Add hot milk to egg mixture in a stream, whisking, and transfer to saucepan. Simmer, whisking, 3 minutes, then remove pan from heat and whisk in butter.
Force pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and chill, its surface covered with wax paper, 1 hour.
Make almond cream: Beat together butter, sugar, flours, and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg and beat well.
Cook pears: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 300°F.
Peel pears, then quarter lengthwise and core. Melt butter in a 12-inch ovenproof heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté pears, turning occasionally, 2 minutes. Sprinkle sugar over pears and cook, turning occasionally, until sugar is melted and pears begin to turn pale golden, about 5 minutes.
Transfer skillet to oven and roast pears until very tender, 5 to 7 minutes, then cool to room temperature.
Bake clafoutis: Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Butter ramekins generously and coat with sugar, knocking out excess.
Whisk pastry cream into almond cream until combined well. Spread 1/4 cup cream evenly in bottom of 1 ramekin and top with 2 pieces of pear. Spread another 1/4 cup cream over pears and top with 2 more pieces of pear. Repeat in remaining 5 ramekins. Arrange ramekins on a baking sheet and bake clafoutis until puffed and golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in ramekins on a rack 1 hour.
Put 1 clafoutis (in ramekin) on each of 6 large plates and top each with a phyllo crisp. Serve cider sauce and quince sorbet on the side.
Crisps can dry up to 24 hours before baking.
Crisps can be baked 6 hours ahead and kept, uncovered, at room temperature.
Pastry cream and almond cream can be prepared 1 day ahead and chilled separately, covered. Bring to room temperature before combining.
Clafoutis can be assembled 8 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before baking.