This month’s Baklava of the Month flavor is Spiced Pear Walnut, and I have to tell you the story of how I came up with this flavor. I love, love, love cooking, baking, and home décor/decorating. There’s nothing like a beautifully cozy and inspiring space with delicious aromas filling the kitchen and permeating the entire home. I grew up watching Martha Stewart and perusing the pages of Good Housekeeping, Southern Living, and Architectural Digest. To this day my television toggles between HGTV and the Food Network.
Anyway, back to the story…years ago, I was watching one of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten (host of Barefoot Contessa) bake something I had never heard of before. She called it a Pear Clafouti. It sounded so sophisticated and foreign, and my interest was immediately piqued. I took notes as I watched her making it on the screen, then went right out and bought the ingredients. It turned out lovely and smelled divine once it was baked and cooling on the rack. I made it again for my next dinner party, and it was a hit! From then on, I enjoyed experimenting with pear desserts. I made pear fruit tarts, both summer chilled and warmly baked. I made poached pears served warm and another version served chilled. I explored recipes with various varieties of pears: Bartlett, Bosc, D’Anjou, Asian, and others. Did you know there are over 3,000 varieties of pears? Crazy, right! I learned that clove, cinnamon, and allspice are wonderful complimentary spices to pears; and, of course, I added pears to my baklava recipes. Over time, I tweaked and formulated my spiced pear walnut baklava recipe into what it is today.
I hope you enjoy my recipe, which was inspired by Ina and her Pear Clafouti. To honor her, I’d like to direct you to her recipe if you are feeling adventurous and want to enjoy another pear dessert after you’ve gobbled up your baklava. You can find it at HERE. By the way, a Clafouti is a baked French dessert made with fruit. It is traditionally made with black cherries, which is also oh, so yummy!
Enjoy your baklava! I can’t wait to talk with you next month! And please remember…I appreciate you more than you will ever know.