Cherry on Top

Cherries are hands down my favourite fruit. In winter I buy them frozen, quickly warming them with vanilla to top porridge, or baking them into a sweet clafoutis to brighten up Sunday suppers. During these summer weeks though, I buy a fresh bag most days. British ones are at their sweetest and freshest when they arrive in your kitchen for not having travelled across the oceans, they are as much a part of my summers as barbecues and downpours.

They’re almost always best eaten straight out of the bag, but there are a few recipes where cooked cherries rival fresh.

Roasted cherry salad with buttermilk dressing

I use red-tipped little gems here, but butterhead, oakleaf, lollo rosso and frisée would also work. If you can’t find buttermilk, use yoghurt thinned with a splash of milk for the dressing. Some goat’s cheese or goat’s curd would be a nice addition, too.

Cherry, lemon + almond cobbler

I make this in peak cherry season, when they are most affordable. At other times of the year, you could use some cheaper frozen cherries, or even some pitted and roughly chopped red plums in place of half the cherries.

Cherry + almond breakfast smoothie

This is how I get cherries into my mornings and their cheering colour never fails to lift my spirits. Almond butter works here to give this smoothie an almost marzipan note; it works with frozen cherries, too once summer is gone.

Cherry + smoked salt clafoutis

The smoked salt adds a brilliant flavour note, but normal sea salt will work well, too. The frozen cherries are already softened, so are perfect for a clafoutis. For a boozy version, soak the cherries in a little kirsch and sugar for an hour before you make the dish, then drain and follow the recipe.

Wedding meringues with cherries

It happened that we got married in mid-July – prime cherry season – so we decided on this: caramelly brown sugar meringues topped with a lemon-curd spiked Chantilly, crème anglaise and cherries three different ways, as well as a syrup made from fresh myrtle, a symbol of everlasting love, a very sweet touch from the wonderful people who cooked for us.

This is a simplified version, no myrtle syrup and only a few simple processes, but well, well worth the bother. A very precious pudding.

Cherry + black pepper streusel muffins

Not too sweet and filled with good things, these are a muffin I can happily eat for breakfast. I love them studded with cherries, so I make them most in summer, but in truth they could be made with other berries – frozen or fresh – or slices of summer stone fruits. The tops are crumbly and crunchy with their little hats of streusel topping flecked with black pepper and orange zest.

 

 

Posted: 30.06.21 0 Comments

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