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October 21, 2005



They put the pear in the bottle when it was still a teensy weensy little pear, you see, the crafty French guys. It was quite a sight to see a pear tree intended for Eau de Vie, oddly sprouting glass bottles all over the branches.



Hi, Pim,

I happen to know -- don't ask me how ;) -- that our lovely Julie is one of those people who stays up late at night reading obscure tracts about eaux-de-vie, so I think that she was trying to cultivate a bit of mystery and romance in her essay, rather than ask outright, "how the heck did the pear get in there?" (Julie, if I'm being presumptuous here, I apologize!)

But you're right: a pear tree covered in eau-de-vie bottles is a neat and surprising thing to see whilst whizzing down the autoroute. In college I knew a professor who taught a class called "Environmental and Conceptual Art," which largely consisted of stringing pizza boxes in tree branches. A pear tree full of eau-de-vie bottles, now *that's* environmental art, and eventually you get some nice bottles of Poire William to drink. We love it when that happens. :)

Joe Bellacero

I'm sorry, Julie, what were we talking about? (I can't seem to get past a sweet image swimming in my head of gently pressing the stem ends of shy but willing virgins.) Oh, right, clafoutis. Yours DO look delicious--they're quite a pair!


From the look of it, I think you've definetely achieved chocolate intensity! Your clafoutis are drool-inducing :-)


Terrific post, Julie, between the pears, the chocolate, and the virgins! And I love your bedside table inventory. So glad to see that we're companions in our chocolate obsession, m'dear. I had a feeling about you.


If the ingredients and pictures weren't enough, your words make the desserts so enticing. Unfortunately, I have to swear off sweets because of my weight issues. I wouldn't dare attempt any of these recipes.

Joe C

Wonderful recipe but there's another old family tradition involving cocoa and pears: chocolate fondue, which our parents more or less discovered in the 60s...


Now this sounds fabulous, Julie. Think I could stick some candied ginger in there, too?

Zarah Maria

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....... That oozing chocolate heart there? Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!:-)


Those look sinful!!


Mmmm...how perfect with the Gooey Chocolate Pudding!

Lea xo


Pim, it is a glorious sight, isn't it?

For those who'd like a visual of this process, here's someplace you can go: www.market-provence.com/FR/Fabrication/MFPO4.htm

Bakerina, m'darlin', you know me not long, but oh too well...there's a chocolate pear clafoutis in your future, if I have anything to say about it...

Joe B, you're so easily distracted by words like "virgins" and "yielding", whether in print or in conversation. You must keep your mind on the clafoutis. However, I will confess that I was actually thinking of male virgins, since I was talking about pressing them delicately at their *stem* ends...

Thanks Tanvi -- if only you were going to be free whilst in NY, I'd make some for you...

Ah Molly -- we know that we're sisters in chocolate, no? I still savor the memory of the Gray Salt Caramels you brought me from Seattle...

Thanks Felicia -- and I do understand...but a little taste once in a while...controlled portions and all...

Joe C, brother mine -- you are so right. It seems worthwhile to resurrect that delight of our childhood, doesn't it? I'm envisioning an excellent dark chocolate melted in a bit of cream, with a dash of Poire William stirred in -- and then all of us around the pot, savagely spearing ripe pear slices and jostling for dipping room...

Nic, I'm sure that candied ginger would make the experience even more delightful...

Oh Zarah, you're right, it is VERY mmmmmmmmmmm....and I will make it for you when you land in NY. Now when is that going to be?

Lisa, thanks for stopping by -- you have a lovely post up for this one too!

Lea dear -- we love our Gooey Chocolate Puds, don't we? The pear makes a delicious variation, as does the extra chocolate...


Hi Julie, I almost made the same entry for SHF! I saw a recipe in Green & Black's chocolate cookbook. Man, just the sight of that seriously dark chocolate fudgy cake with pears made me drool.


Pears and chocolate. Nothing better!


Hi Celia -- I'd love to see that Green & Black's recipe sometime. I know that mine is not really a true clafoutis, and it would be fun to see how the organic chocolate experts do it...oh and by the way, thanks for stopping by!

Hi Chronicler -- Thanks for visiting. I have to agree with you; pears and chocolate is such a winning combination...


I made this for a dinner party last night and it turned out great! thanks!


My gosh, Julie- this is a great post. Your writing, the photos, the recipe...just lovely!


Karin, I'm so glad this worked out well for you. I find the combination of pears and dark chocolate quite elegant -- yet also greed-arousing...

Moira, what a pleasure to have you around again. It's been quite a while...

Linda Fuegen

Please send the Extreme congo bars recipe, I can't seem to find it online.

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