Nigel Slater’s summer season cherry recipes | Life and magnificence


The cherries have been extraordinary this 12 months. There have been bag after bag of them within the fridge because the first Turkish fruits arrived at my greengrocer’s in May. A cherry at room temperature doesn’t do it for me. I like mine sizzling and syrupy below a comfortable pastry crust, or ice-cold, so their skins tighten and their juice spurts down your shirt like blood from a deep lower.

There have been bag after bag of them within the fridge because the first Turkish fruits arrived at my greengrocer’s in May

We have eaten cherries all summer season lengthy. There have been cherry compotes, the stoned fruits stewed with (little or no) sugar and water, or maybe a splash of elderflower cordial so as to add depth and effervescence. Those compotes had been stirred, in deep crimson swirls, into breakfast yogurt or dishes of chilled custard. I tossed the early Italian fruits into roast rooster salads or perched them on sheets of crisp puff pastry and ricotta.

There had been 3 varieties this week: fats, shiny gobstoppers from the US, a field of small, sharper fruits from Turkey and a tray of dark-fleshed beauties from Britain. The greengrocer insisted I style all of them. The American fruits tasted like boiled sweets – so I purchased the others, devouring a bagful on the best way, arriving at my entrance door with a pocket stuffed with stones.

If cherries are excellent, I do little or no to them, tipping the fruit right into a bowl of water and ice cubes for 20 minutes earlier than we eat – a course of which makes their juice all of the extra refreshing.

Once I’ve had my fill I’ll take a tray of them into the kitchen for a pie, crumble or jam. This week my plan had been to make a cherry Bakewell, a large, spherical tart with a layer of jam and one other of skinny, golden icing, however as an alternative I made small ones we might tuck into our lunchboxes for a prepare journey to Scotland. Tiny tarts journey higher and are simple to tuck in between our sandwiches and scarlet-wrapped Tunnock’s wafers.

Cherry almond tarts

May I recommend a jug of cream right here?

Makes 18

For the pastry:
butter 100g
caster sugar 100g
egg yolks 2
plain flour 250g
baking powder 1 tsp
water 2 tbsp

For the filling:
floor almonds 200g
icing sugar 200g
plain flour 2 heaped tbsp
cherries 300g
egg whites 3

For the icing:
icing sugar 70g
elderflower cordial 2 tbsp

You can even want a tray of patty tins every 7cm in diameter

Dice the butter, put it into the bowl of a meals mixer and add the caster sugar. Using a flat beater, cream the 2 collectively till they’re gentle and fluffy – the color of vanilla ice cream. Alternatively, cream the butter and sugar along with a picket spoon. Mix within the egg yolks then fold within the flour and baking powder, completely however gently, including as a lot water because it takes to kind a comfortable however rollable dough. Bring to a ball along with your palms then wrap in greaseproof paper or clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.

Set the oven at 200C/gasoline mark 6. Place a metallic baking sheet within the oven to warmth up. Roll the pastry out to the thickness of a 10p piece then use a biscuit cutter to make discs of pastry, urgent every into the patty tins as you go. You will most likely make about 18 with somewhat rerolling of the offcuts. Place them within the fridge.

Make the filling: combine collectively the bottom almonds and icing sugar then stir within the flour and put aside. Halve and stone the cherries, then stir them into the dry substances. Lightly whip the egg whites with a balloon whisk. They must be a comfortable froth slightly than have the aptitude of standing in stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the cherries and almonds, then spoon into the pastry instances. (The combination will probably be high-quality left to face whereas the primary batch bakes.)

Bake the tarts for 25 minutes, the tray sitting on the heated baking sheet to make sure the bases cook dinner crisply. Remove from the oven when the filling is evenly agency and the pastry golden brown. Leave the tarts to accept 5 minutes earlier than rigorously eradicating them for his or her tins to a cooling rack set over a tray.

Sieve the icing sugar right into a small bowl and stir within the elderflower cordial. Trickle the icing over the tarts and go away to evenly set. The tarts are finest eaten simply heat or definitely the identical day, however will preserve for a day or 2 in a biscuit tin.

Cherries, toasted almonds, goat’s curd

Great scoop: cherries, toasted almonds, goat’s curf

Great scoop: cherries, toasted almonds, goat’s curf Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer

Serves 4

For the compote:
cherries 200g
caster sugar 4 tbsp
white vermouth 4 tbsp

To serve:
flaked almonds a large handful
goat’s curd 250g
lemon zest 1 tsp
crispbread or flatbread

Simmer until the cherries are soft and the juice is a deep burgundy colour, almost like jam

Remove the stems from the cherries, halve the fruits and remove the stones. Put the cherries in a small saucepan with the sugar and vermouth and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, let the cherries simmer for about 10 minutes, until they are soft and the juice is a deep burgundy colour and almost jam like. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.

Scatter the almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan and toast over a moderate heat until golden. Watch them carefully. When they’re ready, set them aside.

Grate the lemon zest into the goat’s curd. Place scoops of goat’s curd on each of 4 plates with some of the toasted almonds, the compote and, if you wish, a little crispbread or flatbread.

Email Nigel at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @NigelSlater

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