A shortish entry today. I am not in a jam exactly but I am next to one. Several infact. Or, to be strictly accurate, two preserves, a chutney, a marmalade and a curd.
I’m off to the Port Eliot Festival on Friday and pretty excited about it. It's on a beautiful Cornish estate and has all sorts of writers, artists, musicians, comedians, thinkers etc performing there. Also, perhaps most importantly, a huge array of chefs and interesting foodie people. There will be delicious things to eat - definitely no dodgy burger vans at Port Eliot - and they even have a village-fete style Flower & Fodder show, complete with flower arranging, vegetable sculptures and competitive jam making, cake baking etc.
In a fit of (perhaps misplaced) enthusiasm I entered all of the jam/chutney/preserve categories as well as the ones for pasties and raised pies. As ever, despite knowing that preserves improve with age, I have left everything to the last minute.
Hence why I have spent the last two days slicing lemons, pitting cherries etc and need this to be quick so I can get back to it. I'll share all the recipes in due course but today I just wanted you to know about this one as it's quick and seasonal.
- 1kg cherries
- 200ml Amaretto
- 200g caster sugar
- juice and zest of two lemons
- 100ml water
- Wash and stone the cherries. I used Tala’s Cherry Pitter
- which was surprisingly easy. Certainly a lot less faff than the weird poking syringe thing we had when I was little.
- Put everything in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer until the cherries begin to go soft but remain whole (about half an hour).
- Strain the fruit, reserving the syrup, and put them into sterilised jars.
- Taste the syrup and adjust sugar, lemon and Amaretto according to your personal preference. I like it as a fairly liquid syrup with a reasonable almond hit from the Amaretto but if you want it thicker then continue to simmer until reduced to your liking.
- Pour the syrup into the jars to cover the cherries and seal.
Ifs And Ands
- Vanilla essence would make a nice extra flavouring.
- Leave out the Amaretto and use almond essence instead if you don't want it to be boozy.
- Any leftover syrup makes a beautiful base for a Prosecco cocktail.
- Eat the cherries themselves over yoghurt, with ice cream or drain a few and add them to an extra special Bakewell tart or chocolatey baking such as brownies.