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Cherries, blueberries star in this versatile dessert

Recipe: Cherry-blueberry clafoutis, served warm or cold

Bowl of red cherries
It's cherry season, and these beauties are
destined for a clafoutis. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

This is cherry season, a fleeting late-spring delight. For home growers, every little fruit seems like a miracle – or a challenge. So many things – wind, rain, birds, squirrels – can destroy a once-promising crop. But for the lucky grower with a full tree, a bounty of cherries also produces a mountain of pits.

Blueberries are ripening now, too. This month, my little blueberry bushes are finally producing enough berries to actually MAKE something and not just nibble in the garden. But one cup at a time is not enough to make a full fruity dessert with just blueberries.

Cherries and blueberries in a white dish
The homepicked blueberries join the cherries in the buttered and
sugared dish.

Thanks to a neighbor’s generosity, I had a pint of fresh-picked homegrown cherries, as bright and beautiful as rubies, to go with my cup of blueberries. Together, they were just enough fruit for this combination clafoutis.

A clafoutis (pronounced klah-foo-tee) is a French fruity flan-like dessert. Tradition dictates that it be made with cherries, preferably black. Any other fruit, this dessert becomes a flaugnarde, according to my French cookbooks.

But that’s in France. American cooks (myself included) adapt this dessert to what’s in season – including blueberries, apricots, pears and apples. And we call it a clafoutis or clafouti (with no “s”). Either way, it’s delicious.

Another plus: This versatile dessert can be served warm or cold, making it a perfect summer treat. (It’s also tasty for breakfast or brunch.)

Instead of a traditional post-baking dusting of powdered sugar, a little Demerara sugar before baking adds crunch to the top of this clafoutis.

Bakes clafoutis in dish
The clafoutis is topped with Demerara
sugar for a nice crunch.
Cherry-blueberry clafoutis

Makes 8 servings


Butter and sugar to grease and dust pan

2 cups cherries, pitted

1 cup blueberries

1 tablespoon sugar

3 eggs

½ cup sugar

½ cup flour

¾ cup heavy cream

¾ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons Demerara sugar

Whipped cream, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare an 11-inch tart or quiche pan or 10-inch deep pie plate. Grease pan with butter. Sprinkle with sugar, then invert to remove excess. Set aside.

Clafoutis slice with whipped cream
The whipped cream topping is optional for serving but

In a large bowl, gently toss cherries, blueberries and 1 tablespoon sugar. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer until foamy. Add ½ cup sugar and beat until foamy and fairly thick. Add the flour and beat until smooth. Then, add cream, milk and vanilla; beat until mixture is smooth and thick.

Arrange the fruit in a single layer at the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Pour batter over fruit. Sprinkle with Demerara sugar over top.

Bake at 350 degrees until top is nicely browned and custard is set; a thin knife blade inserted near center will come out clean (about 30 minutes).

Serve warm or cold, with whipped cream if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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