Surprisingly, most cherry recipes in classic cookbooks - Leiths for example - feature only the canned variety. Inevitably, cherry pie came to mind, but it seemed too obvious, so I trawled the Web and found this lovely clafoutis recipe, by the venerable Diana Henry. The rest will be preserved as cherry sorbet, perfect spiked with a dash of ice-cold kirsch or vodka and served in little glasses on a hot summer evening.
If you can be bothered, stone the cherries. I didn't. And remember to grease your dish before filling it with the cherries and batter.
150ml (5fl oz) double cream
150ml (5fl oz) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp kirsch or amaretto
3 large eggs
125g (4½oz) caster sugar
pinch of salt
25g (1oz) plain flour
600g (1lb 4oz) cherries
toasted flaked almonds (optional) and icing sugar, to serve
- To make the batter, mix the cream, milk, vanilla and alcohol. Whisk the eggs, sugar and salt in a separate bowl until the mixture triples in volume and is pale and fluffy. Fold in the flour and then the milk mixture.
- Arrange the cherries in a copper, cast-iron or ceramic gratin dish about 24cm (9½in) in diameter, and pour over the batter. Cook in an oven preheated to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for 30 minutes, or until the batter is set (it may take an extra five or so minutes if you’re using a ceramic dish). Scatter on the toasted almonds if you’re using them and sift a little icing sugar over the top. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes then serve warm with crème fraîche or pouring cream.