VegBox Recipes

Cherries

Cherries Cherries are a short-lived, summer treat. They can be either sweet or sour, depending on the variety so check before you cook with them as you’ll need sugar for the sour ones! But the sour varieties make better jam.

In Season?
The main season for British cherries is from late June through to the end of August.
Buy?
Go for firm, bright fruits not dark squishy ones.
Store?
Cherries are best stored in a paper rather than plastic bag in the fridge. They go mouldy quite quickly, so keep an eye on them and eat them sooner rather than later (like we have to tell you to do that!).
Freeze?
Place the (pitted) cherries on a baking tray in the freezer and then tip them into a freezer bag once they're hard.
Cook?
Wash them before using.

They don’t keep for long after picking, so are sometimes sprayed with fungicides, to stop them going mouldy during transport.

Then remove the stalks and the stone. You can do this by cutting the cherry in half or using a cherry stoner (which you can also use to pit olives).

You can eat them raw or use them in summer fruit recipes.

Raw cherries are best served at room temperature rather than straight from the fridge, to make the most of their flavour.

More Cherries Information

Cherries are a short-lived, summer treat. They can be either sweet or sour, depending on the variety so check before you cook with them as you’ll need sugar for the sour ones! But the sour varieties make better jam.

In the past, the stones were used in bed-warming pans, and the cherry was grown primarily for medicinal purposes rather than to eat as a fruit.

Nutritionally, they’re a good source of antioxidants, Vitamin C, iron, potassium and magnesium and are fast on their way to becoming a “super-fruit”.

Poached Cherry Pavlova, Vanilla Cream and Toasted Pistachios
This is a pretty luxurious recipe, and it's probably one for a dinner party rather than dessert on a worknight, if you know what I mean, but we include so few of those, and this one was too drool-worthy to pass up : )

You can find the recipe and loads of others in Matt Tebbutt’s new book, "Matt Tebbutt Cooks Country", and we’ve included it in our database courtesy of Mitchell Beazley and Octopus Books. Thanks folks!
Ingredients
Serves 4-6

50g shelled pistachio nuts
2 tbsp icing sugar
300ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways

Cherries in stock syrup

200ml water
125g caster sugar
Pared zest of half orange
1 cinnamon stick, halved
400g fresh cherries
1 splash of Kirsch

Pavlova

4 medium egg whites
225g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
Half tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white wine vinegar
75g dried sour cherries, roughly chopped

Method
Matt says:

I love the combination of sweet and sour in this pudding, and the sprinkling of pistachios adds an unexpected sweet crunchiness at the end of each mouthful.

  1. Preheat the oven to 130ºC / 260ºF / Gas Mark 1⁄2.


  2. For the cherry stock syrup

    1. Put all the ingredients except for the cherries and Kirsch in a non-reactive pan, and cook until the sugar has just dissolved.
    2. Remove stones and stalks from two-thirds of the cherries, then poach all the cherries in the sugar syrup until just tender, about 10 minutes or so.
    3. Add a big splash of Kirsch to this, if liked.
    4. Toast the pistachio nuts with the icing sugar in a non-stick pan, then tip out on to a piece of non-stick baking paper and leave to cool before roughly chopping. Reserve.
    5. Remove the cherries from the stove and allow to cool in the liquid. While they are cooling, take a ladle of the poaching liquid and reduce to a semi-sticky syrup consistency. This will decorate the dish when serving and add depth of flavour.


    To make the pavlova in a mixer

    1. Whisk up the egg whites and sugar to stiff peaks and until the sugar dissolves. This will take anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes, or until the sugar has completely dissolved.
    2. Throw in a mix of the cornflour, vanilla and white wine vinegar, and fold together with the dried sour cherries.
    3. Dollop or pipe the pavlova mixture on to non-stick baking sheets in individual portion sizes – they will expand, so about 1tbsp size per person.
    4. Cook in the preheated very low oven for 1–11⁄2 hours, or until they lift off the non-stick sheet cleanly.


    Finishing off

    1. While the pavlova is cooking, whip the double cream with the scraped seeds of the vanilla pod and a splash of the Kirsch. Whip up to semi-stiff peaks – just until it holds its own weight. Set aside.


    To serve

    1. Spoon a generous amount of the vanilla cream onto each pavlova and drizzle over the stoned poached cherries and the reduced sauce.
    2. Scatter over some toasted pistachio nuts and decorate with cherries with stalks still on.

Cupboard-To-Table

2 hours 30 minutes (mostly cooking time)

Suggested Cherries Recipes

Cherry & Strawberry Cream

Come June, cherries and strawberries will be in season together in the UK.

Now cherries and strawberries are delicious in their own right. But if you combine them ... Well, as far as we're concerned that's heaven on earth.

Cherryade

This recipe has been very generously donated to our database by FoodLoversBritain.com as part of their Cherry Aid Campaign.

Championing the best local and regional food businesses, all vetted to FoodLovers Approved quality standards, FoodLoversBritain.com is the site where everyone – from consumers to producers, restaurateurs to retailers - can find where to buy, stay, visit, eat and learn about local and regional quality food & drink. With 4,000+ businesses featured online, each one is FoodLovers Approved to deliver on local sourcing and meet an exacting level of excellence.

CherryAid campaigns to unite all Cherry Lovers – chefs, Cherry growers, producers of Cherry-based food and drink, you, me – to save the British Cherry.

In the last 50 years we’ve lost 90% of our Cherry orchards and now import around 95% of the Cherries we eat. FoodLoversBritain.com has gone to the rescue with CherryAid to help them out of a jam!

Poached Cherry Pavlova, Vanilla Cream and Toasted Pistachios

This is a pretty luxurious recipe, and it's probably one for a dinner party rather than dessert on a worknight, if you know what I mean, but we include so few of those, and this one was too drool-worthy to pass up : )

You can find the recipe and loads of others in Matt Tebbutt’s new book, "Matt Tebbutt Cooks Country", and we’ve included it in our database courtesy of Mitchell Beazley and Octopus Books. Thanks folks!

Soft Cherry Cake

This recipe has been very generously donated to our database by FoodLoversBritain.com as part of their Cherry Aid Campaign.

Championing the best local and regional food businesses, all vetted to FoodLovers Approved quality standards, FoodLoversBritain.com is the site where everyone – from consumers to producers, restaurateurs to retailers - can find where to buy, stay, visit, eat and learn about local and regional quality food & drink. With 4,000+ businesses featured online, each one is FoodLovers Approved to deliver on local sourcing and meet an exacting level of excellence.

CherryAid campaigns to unite all Cherry Lovers – chefs, Cherry growers, producers of Cherry-based food and drink, you, me – to save the British Cherry.

In the last 50 years we’ve lost 90% of our Cherry orchards and now import around 95% of the Cherries we eat. FoodLoversBritain.com has gone to the rescue with CherryAid to help them out of a jam!

Sweet Chestnut Chocolate Brownies

This seasonally nutty variation on a chocolatey cake favourite is scrumptious and takes only three steps ... Three steps to heaven?

Traditional Cherry Clafoutis

This traditional French dessert is so incredibly easy to make, and yet it's remarkably elegant. Certainly, if you use ramekins to make individual ones, it's idea for dinner parties. And yet it's so simple, it's also brilliant for family pudding, and (this is a bit naughty) it's lovely cold for breakfast, with the excuse that it's a bit like having pancakes! Just don't tell anyone we told you so...

Got one? Send us your recipe!

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