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Pillivuyt has produced culinary porcelain in its factory in the medieval town of Mehun-sur-Yevre in central France for two centuries. Throughout the ages, the firm’s collections of dinnerware, bakers, and roasters with inventive designs have grown. In 2005, they developed Pillenium, a unique type of porcelain that appears as elegant as fine china, but stronger and chip-resistant. It’s thinner than traditional porcelain pieces but conducts heat well and is microwavable. Pillivuyt’s striking ruffled Patisserie Clafouti or Pie Dish is useful for holiday baking ($44). At 8 inches wide and 2 inches deep, it makes an eye-catching dessert. Since the baker is so deep, toss in an extra apple or handful of berries — there’s no risk of spilling over and burning on the bottom of the oven. It might take a few more minutes for the fruit juices to bubble energetically and the crust to turn golden. Use it also as a cake pan. Available at Didriks, 77 Leonard St., Belmont, 617-467-4847 and www.didriks.com, or go to www.pillivuytusa.com. ANN TRIEGER KURLAND


Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at anntrieger@gmail.com.