Cherries blossom as apples crumble

cherryblossomsCherries blossom as apples crumble

It is going to be an interesting summer for British puddings, according to the Daily Mail, as we are facing a shortage of dessert favourite Bramley apples. On the other hand, we are due a bumper crop of cherries this year!

Apples 2016 loser

Apparently the UK’s Bramley apples 2016 harvest is expected to fall about 12 per cent short, as the farmers do not believe they are making enough money from the fruit. A number of farmers have abandoned growing Bramleys and have removed their trees to make way for cherries on the basis that they are a higher-profit crop. Wholesale Bramley apple prices dropped 20p per kilo last year to 61p.

Cherries 2016 winner

The silver lining to this Bramley cloud is the higher availability of British cherries. While cherries used to be imported from abroad, British farmers are now growing record amounts of the fruit – up from 400 tonnes in 2000 to 4,500 tonnes last year. Cherries are a great alternative to apples for many reasons – not only are they among the freshest fruit you can buy, thanks to a quick turnaround time from picking to point of sale, but also they boast a number of interesting health benefits thanks to their high nutrient content.

Summer cherries 2016 recipes

Cherries are almost as versatile as apples. They are also deeply beautiful, glowing jewels of fruit and symbolise fertility and abundance. Cherry season in the UK is the summer, with July seeing UK cherries at their peak.

Frangipane cherry tart

Pre-made shortcrust pastry
140g golden caster sugar
140g ground almonds
140g melted butter
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
2 tbsp kirsch or other cherry liqueur
500g cherries, pitted
2 tbsp cherry jam, heated and mixed with 1 tbsp water

Use a shop-bought pastry case or a prepared sheet of shortcrust pastry to save time. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C and blind bake your pastry case if necessary.

To make the filling, put the caster sugar, almonds, butter and eggs into a bowl and mix well to achieve a smooth, creamy texture. Stir in the cherry liqueur and put the mixture in the refrigerator to chill for 20-30 minutes.

Spread the filling onto the pastry case and bake until crisp or golden, which will take about 25 minutes. Spread the cherries evenly on top of the almond mixture, brush with the cherry jam paste and allow to cool.

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