Fall Deliciousness: Ina Garten’s Pear Clafouti

As much as I love Fall, it doesn’t feel like it’s official until I’ve made one of my favorite desserts of ALL time, Ina Garten’s mouth wateringly delicious Pear Clafouti.

Somehow the heavenly aroma of ripe Bartlett pears, sugar, vanilla, pear brandy and lemon zest baking away in the oven makes it truly official for me, despite what the calendar might say. So if you’re looking to ring in the season with something sweet this month, this delightful recipe is the perfect choice and it also couldn’t be easier to make.


While the recipe calls for pear brandy like Poire William, I adore this Pear Liqueur from J Vineyards!


And if you’ve never “clafoutied” before (YES, it can be used as a verb), a clafouti is essentially a French dessert which originated in the Limousin region of Southwest France. It features sliced fruit (traditionally cherries but pears are in season longer), arranged in a buttered dish which are then covered with a custard-like batter and baked until golden brown. The clafouti is then dusted with confectioners’ sugar and served warm or at room temperature. Honestly, I’ll take it any way I can get it, it’s THAT delicious!

And while Ina’s recipe already has pear brandy baked into it, this Pear Clafouti also happens to pair deliciously well with one of my new favorite dessert wines, the Barboursville Vineyards Passito from Virginia ($32/375mL). Yes – V I R G I N I A!

This wine is a blend of Moscato Ottonel and Vidal grapes which were air dried in order to concentrate their flavor and sugars. The dried grapes were then pressed and the resulting juice underwent a lengthy fermentation with additional time on the lees to accentuate the wine’s mouthfeel. The result is a viscous, luscious wine with notes of spiced pear, candied citrus and vanilla which still retains a bright acidity and lightness to balance its sweetness.


If you find yourself hankering for something other than pumpkin spice to satisfy your sweet tooth and put you in the Fall spirit, you can’t go wrong with this recipe. Just be sure you also have some of your favorite vanilla ice cream on hand to round out the experience (Haagen-Dazs is the BOMB!).

I really hope you enjoy this recipe for Pear Clafouti and do YOU have a favorite Fall dessert OR dessert wine you look forward to all year? If so, I’d love to know so please let me know in the Comments section below.


Bon appétit,


"Fall Deliciousness: Ina Garten's Pear Clafouti"
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Pair this delicious recipe with a luscious dessert wine like the Barboursville Vineyards Passito from Virginia!
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (1 lemon)
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons pear brandy such as Poire William
  • 2-3 firm but ripe Bartlett pears
  • Confectioners' sugar
  1. ) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 10 x 1½-inch round baking dish and sprinkle the bottom and sides with 1 Tablespoon of the granulated sugar.
  2. ) Beat the egs and the ⅓-cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixerfited with a paddle attachement on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the flour, cream, vanilla extract, lemon zest, Kosher salt and pear brandy. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. ) Meanwhile, peel, half, core and slice the pears. Arrange the slices in a single layer, slightly fanned out in the baking dish. Pour the batter over the pears and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is firm, 35-40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

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Grilled Swordfish with Romesco Sauce

I walked into Walgreens yesterday and could not believe my eyes. Their Halloween decorations were up already! Now I L O V E Halloween (especially making this spooky recipe), but it’s only mid-August and the first day of Fall is still over a month away. Sorry, but I am NOT ready to say goodbye to Summer just yet. Thankfully, this delicious recipe for Grilled Swordfish with Romesco Sauce helps make the transition from Summer into Fall not only painless, but extremely enjoyable.


While cooking on the grill is synonymous with Summer, the rich, oily texture of the swordfish and smoky, peppery Romesco sauce conjure thoughts and flavors of Fall. I love this culinary yin-yang that makes this delightful dish perfect for savoring the remaining weeks of Summer. And what’s better than enjoying great food with friends? We were fortunate to collaborate on this meal with some wonderful friends who just happened to have some fresh, delicious swordfish steaks on hand! As we prepared the sauce and fish, their beautiful daughter (who had just broken her arm, poor thing!) picked flowers from the yard at Chez Miskew to make a gorgeous arrangement featuring gardenias, jasmine and allamanda.

grilled-swordfish-romesco-evie-flowersRomesco sauce originated in the seaside town of Tarragona in Northeastern Spain. The sauce is a mixture of almonds and hazelnuts, roasted red peppers, garlic, Sherry vinegar and olive oil that was invented by local fishermen. Using a traditional mortar and pestle, they would grind the ingredients together, much like an Italian pesto or French tapenade, to serve with the day’s catch. Over time, different variations of the sauce have emerged such as Salvitxada, which is Romesco that’s been thickened with garlic-rubbed, toasted bread. The hearty flavors and textures of the Romesco sauce also make an excellent accompaniment for chicken and beef as well.


The ideal wine pairing for Grilled Swordfish with Romesco Sauce is a dry, Spanish white wine that mirrors its flavors and texture like the Bodegas Palacio Cosme Palacio White Rioja. Made from a blend of Viura and Malvasia grapes, this lovely wine has fragrant aromatics of pear and citrus and a creamy, rich texture that mirrors that of the swordfish. The wine also has a delightful spiciness, thanks to a little time spent in French oak, and notes of almond and citrus that highlight the acid and nutty flavors in the sauce beautifully. When pairing food and wine I usually like to stick with the tenet, “If it grows together it goes together,” whenever possible (like here and here). However, if you’re unable to find a white Rioja to pair with this dish, a full-bodied white like a New World Chardonnay with a kiss of oak will also make a very nice pairing.


I hope you enjoy our recipe for Grilled Swordfish with Romesco Sauce and that it helps you make the seasonal transition seamlessly! Do YOU have any recipes that get you through the Summer to Fall transition? If so, I’d LOVE to hear about them in the Comments sections below.

Bon appétit,



5.0 from 3 reviews
"Grilled Swordfish with Romesco Sauce"
Recipe type: Fish
Serves: 4
Pair with a dry, Spanish white wine like the Bodegas Palacio Cosme Palacio White Rioja or a New World Chardonnay with a kiss of oak!
  • 4 8-ounce swordfish steaks
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded & thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed with side of a Chef's knife & skins removed
  • 3 Calabrian chiles in oil, drained
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup plus 3 Tablespoons good olive oil
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Add slivered almonds to a large pan or skillet and spread in a single layer. Toast nuts over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant, stirring frequently. Transfer almonds to a paper towel lined plate and set aside to cool.
  3. On a medium-sized, rimmed baking sheet, combine the tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, garlic, chiles, smoked paprika and 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Season with Kosher salt and pepper and toss well to coat. Roast in the preheated oven for approximately 30-40 minutes, until vegetables are soft and caramelized.
  4. Add the toasted almonds to a food processor and pulse until a paste forms. Add the roasted vegetables, 2 Tablespoons olive oil and Sherry vinegar and continue to pulse until the sauce is still chunky.
  5. Preheat the grill or grill pan. Rub the swordfish with 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil and season with Kosher salt and pepper. Once the grill is hot, add the swordfish steaks (you might need to do 2 batches if using a grill pan) and grill over med-high heat until charred and cooked to your desired doneness, approximately 4-5 minutes per side.
  6. Serve each swordfish steak with a dollop of Romesco sauce and any extra served alongside.

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5 Fabulous Things To Do This Fall!

Labor Day has come and gone and those lazy Summer days have magically transformed into the countdown to Christmas! In many parts of the country the arrival of Fall is heralded by the changing of the leaves and a refreshing dip in the temperature. Here in sunny South Florida, however, the change of season is not as discernible. For all... Read More

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5 Fabulous Things To Do This Fall!


Labor Day has come and gone and those lazy Summer days have magically transformed into the countdown to Christmas! In many parts of the country the arrival of Fall is heralded by the changing of the leaves and a refreshing dip in the temperature. Here in sunny South Florida, however, the change of season is not as discernible. For all you fellow fans of Fall, here are 5 Fabulous Things you can do to usher in the season:

1.) Master a recipe featuring one of your favorite Fall ingredients: Butternut Squash Lasagna, Porcini Mushroom & Barley Soup and Pumpkin Pie Trifle are just a few recipes that beautifully showcase some of our favorite flavors of Fall. Simply pick a recipe based on one of your favorite flavors and practice up. By the time the holidays roll around you’ll be ready to bring a delicious side dish or dessert and who knows, you might even feel like hosting a holiday meal yourself!

2.) Drink those Rosés: Rosé is the quintessential Summer wine and since 99% of rosé produced is best consumed upon release, now is the time to drink up! Maybe an “End of Summer Rosé Soirée” is the way to go depending on how much you have left, but in addition to drinking that rosé while it’s fresh and delicious you also need to make room for those wines best suited for Fall including Viognier, Pinot Noir, and many more (for suggestions, please click here).

3.) Plan a Leaf Peeping Trip: There’s nothing like witnessing the changing of the leaves from vibrant green to magnificent shades of red, gold and brown to put you in the mood for Fall. A great region for leaf peeping might be a quick road trip away so pack your sweater and boots and head to one of the many US regions known for fabulous Fall foliage. Some of our favorites include Boston, Massachusetts; Cashiers, North Carolina; and Boulder, Colorado (for more information, please click here).

4.) Plan a Halloween Party: Do you still like to dress up for Halloween but usually find yourself procrastinating and throwing together a makeshift costume at the last minute? Well throw away that ratty old witch’s hat and plan your own Halloween Costume party this year! Put the word out now so guests will be sure to “save the date” and have fun planning your costume in addition to all the party details while getting in the Halloween spirit.

5.) Listen to the Music: Perhaps one of my favorite things about this time of year is the music. Whether you’re driving in the car, making dinner in the kitchen, or taking a brisk walk be sure to keep your favorite Fall playlist on the ready. Some of our favorite songs for the season include Lady Gaga’s “Orange Colored Sky”; Vince Guaraldi’s “Great Pumpkin Waltz”; and “Autumn in New York” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

I hope these suggestions help make your transition into Fall more enjoyable. What are some of your favorite things that put you in an Autumn state of mind?



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