Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Life is a bowl (or two) of cherries

We've talked about tomatoes on the blog, but not about cherries. This must be rectified.

Every summer I look forward to the cherry season. I think I could live on these things. They are only in the British supermarkets for a brief time so I go wild buying and eating them for those few weeks.

Last year, I discovered the rainier cherry - it's got a yellow skin and is incredibly delicious (and expensive).

These cherries are very sensitive to temperature, wind, and rain. About 1/3 of a Rainier cherry orchard's crop is eaten by birds.

Rainiers are considered the "cream of the crop", selling for $5 dollars a pound or more in the USA and as much as a dollar each in Japan.

Here are five things to do with cherries:

Tipsy cherries
Marinate cherries in kirsch and serve with ice cream or chocolate desserts.

Cherry and plum crumble
Mix 250g each of stoned cherries and plums, 3tbsp sugar and 4tbsp water in an ovenproof dish. Rub 75g butter into 150g plain flour, stir in 4tbsp each of oats and crushed almonds and 2tbsp sugar. Spoon over the fruit and bake at 180/gas 4 for 25 minutes until golden.

A sauce for roast duck
Bring 150ml each of chicken stock and red wine to the boil, then turn down the heat. Add 250g stoned cherries and simmer for about 15 minutes until thickened.

Cherry pie
Mix 500g stoned cherries with 1tbsp cornflour and 25g sugar. Line a pie dish with sweet shortcrust pastry, add the cherry mixture, top with pastry and seal the edges. Make a hole in the centre, brush with milk and sugar and bake at 180/gas 4 for 40 minutes until golden.

Instant trifle
Marinate stoned cherries in kirsch. Spoon some crushed amaretti biscuits into glasses. Top with marinated cherries, ready made custard, whipped cream and finish with toasted almonds.

What is your favorite summer fruit or vegetable?


Gwen said...

My grandmother had rows of cherry trees and I have loved them since early childhood. Probably my favorite fruit; tomatoes my favorite vegetable. Or is a tomato a fruit or vegetable?

"The confusion about 'fruit' and 'vegetable' arises because of the differences in usage between scientists and cooks. Scientifically speaking, a tomato is definitely a fruit. True fruits are developed from the ovary in the base of the flower, and contain the seeds of the plant (though cultivated forms may be seedless). Some plants have a soft part which supports the seeds and is also called a 'fruit', though it is not developed from the ovary: the strawberry is an example. As far as cooking is concerned, some things which are strictly fruits may be called 'vegetables' because they are used in savoury rather than sweet cooking. The tomato, though technically a fruit, is often used as a vegetable, and a bean pod is also technically a fruit. The term 'vegetable' is more generally used of other edible parts of plants, such as cabbage leaves, celery stalks, and potato tubers, which are not strictly the fruit of the plant from which they come. Occasionally the term 'fruit' may be used to refer to a part of a plant which is not a fruit, but which is used in sweet cooking: rhubarb, for example. So a tomato is the fruit of the tomato plant, but can be used as a vegetable in cooking."

Casey Ann said...

Whew! I'm thoroughly confused. All I know is tomatoes are good!

Gwen said...

It was late when I wrote that. I deleted some of it but wondered if it would be TMI. "Tis a quote you know so don't blame me! : )

Anonymous said...

"Life is a bowl (or two) of cherries"

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