I don’t know what did the trick, but we had our best harvest of cherries ever this year! Not counting the straggling harvests of the pickings the kids skimmed off the tree or whatever birds might have taken, our main harvest was 5-gallon bucket full of these bright and glossy beauties! We snacked on quite a few, but you can bet your sweet bippy I made a couple of Cherry Clafoutis! (Clafoutis’, clafouties, clafoutiss…. it’s hard enough to pronounce without going and trying to pluralize it!)
Since we moved here, we’ve struggled with the fruit we were so eager to sample when we bought a home with an established orchard. It never occurred to us at the time that the Amish we bought it from weren’t growing organically and that the trees and brambles and vines were all dependent on chemicals to stay healthy. Since converting them over to a holistic management plan, (we follow the strategy and calendar in The Holistic Orchard for the trees) we’ve lost all of our raspberries and about half of the grapes. And I don’t believe that it’s any fault of organic, holistic management. It’s like our orchard had spent their whole lives on antibiotics and now they had to develop their own immune systems.
And if this year is any indicator, I believe we’ve turned the corner! The blackberries are loaded, the apple trees have more apples than I can count which is a whole lot more than the 5 mini’s that have been on the trees so far. No signs of brown rot in the plums.
And then there was that amazing cherry harvest that I’m so thankful for!
Thankful, in part, because of this Creamy Cherry Clafoutis. Which is about as easy as dessert making gets. And decadent. And not altogether too unhealthy so far as desserts go!
You literally grease the pan, scatter the bottom with cherries, puree the remainder of the ingredients in a blender, pour it in, and bake. And when you’re serving up this beautiful, thick custard-like dessert and stumbling over fancy words like “clafoutis” you’re going to look totally gourmet.
You know what makes this dessert even better? If you want you can totally bake it in a slow cooker. ‘Cause who wants to turn on the oven in the summer?! (Besides someone who is impatient or not too big on planning. You know, someone like me.) Sure it’s quicker to bake it in the oven, but if you’ve got a slow cooker, why not take advantage of it?
I’ve tried making this clafoutis with other fruit, namely raspberries and strawberries and let me tell you either taste darn skippy. But if you’re big on texture, the berries don’t hold up as well to the heat as the cherries do. But I could care less about that and will making clafoutis with them again whenever I get the chance. I’m trying it with blueberries next.
Creamy Cherry Clafoutis
Creamy Cherry Clafoutis
- 3 cups fresh, frozen, or canned cherries, pitted, thawed, drained
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ⅔ cup evaporated cane juice (or sugar), Buy cane juice here
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest, optional
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- If you'll be baking the clafoutis in the oven, preheat it to 350 degrees.
- Butter the bottom and 2" up the sides of a large slow cooker, 9 x 13 cake pan, or 15" cast iron skillet.
- Scatter the cherries over the bottom.
- In a food processor or blender, puree the cream cheese, eggs, milk, evaporated cane juice, flour, salt, vanilla, and lemon zest until it is smooth and silky.
- Pour it evenly over the cherries.
- Bake the clafoutis in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the center is barely set. If you'd like to give it a bit of color on top, broil it for a minute or so.
- If you're using a slow cooker, cook it on high for 1 ½ to 2 hours until the center is barely set.
- Serve it sprinkled with powdered sugar, warm or cold. It's delicious either way.
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Original Recipe Credit: The French Slow Cooker (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED COOKBOOK!)