Cooking with Cherries

Cooking with cherries

There are so many delicious things to make when cooking with cherries that it’s hard to know where to start – although probably the most difficult job of all is leaving enough cherries in the bowl to make anything at all when it’s so tempting to scoff the lot!

So if you like cherries – and who doesn’t? – now’s the time to go mad, because July is prime cherry season. Once you’ve had your fill of eating them plain and jarring cherry jam, here are a few other glorious things to make with cherries.

Cooking with cherries – Scones

Adding some chopped cherries to the mix is a great way to add sweetness to your scones. Add them to the mix at the same time as the milk, using a little less liquid than usual as the cherries add moisture. Serve with cherry jam and clotted cream.

Cooking with cherries – Cherry Crumble Tartlets

To serve 12:

Pastry and crumble

  • 200g plain flour
  • 50g ground hazelnuts
  • 140g cold butter, in cubes
  • 50g caster sugar

Filling

  • 3 tablespoons raspberry or cherry jam
  • 500g fresh cherries, stoned
  • 50g chopped hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 190C and grease a 12 hole muffin or tartlet tin.

Whizz the flour, hazelnuts and butter up in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add the sugar and whizz again briefly. Put three rounded tablespoons of the mixture into a separate bowl and save for later.

Add 1-2 tablespoons of cold water to the remaining mixture in the food processor and pulse until the crumbs come together in a firm dough. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or two, then wrap in clingfilm and chill off in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

Roll the dough out and cut out 12 10-12cm rounds, gathering up and re-rolling the dough as you go along. Line the greased tin with the pastry circles.

Gently heat the jam in a saucepan until it starts to melt, then add the cherries. Dollop a spoonful of the fruit mixture into each pastry case. Add the chopped hazelnuts and Demerara to the pastry mix reserved earlier and top each cherry tartlet with it. Bake for about half an hour or until the tartlets are golden brown and the cherries are cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin.

Serve the tartlets warm or cold, with custard, ice cream or clotted cream.

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