Cherry Bomb

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. 

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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. 

 

Amaretto Cherries

Ingredients

  • 1kg cherries
  • 200ml Amaretto
  • 200g caster sugar
  • juice and zest of two lemons
  • 100ml water

Method

  1. Wash and stone the cherries. I used Tala’s Cherry Pitter
  2. which was surprisingly easy. Certainly a lot less faff than the weird poking syringe thing we had when I was little.
  3. 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).
  4. Strain the fruit, reserving the syrup, and put them into sterilised jars.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.