It was a bumper harvest from our little morello cherry tree this year.
We planted it two years ago, in the front garden, and – until now – it had spectacularly failed to either grow a lot or produce very much fruit.
But, back in Spring, I was excited to see the branches weighted down with blossom and I had a good hope for enough fruit to do more with than my usual annual bottle of cherry vodka.
I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, so low-slung were the branches from the mountains of cherries that I feared they might never regain their normal shape again.
After a good cherry harvest (with excellent help from the littles) we were left with a giant bowl of cherries, ready to cook up and turn into something fabulous.
Morello cherries, despite looking fabulously glossy, red and biteable, are actually quite sour and can’t be eaten without cooking and / or adding a large dollop of sugar.
I ummed and ahhed with the idea of cherry jam or a cherry pie, but in the end settled for a huge batch of compote since it can be added to so many other things.
It’s hardly even a recipe, so simple is it to make, but here it is written down for anyone interested.
- Wash and halve cherries and remove pips.
- For every 300g of cherries, add 50g of sugar
- Place cherries and sugar in a pan, with a tablespoon of water for every 300g.
- Cook, over a gentle heat, for about 10 minutes, until the fruit is soft but hasn’t lost its shape.
You could eat the compote hot, with something like a chocolate or rice pudding, or let it cool and keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks and turn it into any number of other wonderful things.
I used some of mine to make ice cream, by using our ice cream maker to churn a tub of natural yoghurt, then adding a bit more sugar and a few tablespoons of the cherry compote right at the end.
Most delicious though, was this layered pudding, made with a layer of the compote followed by a layer of crème fraiche and then repeated. I didn’t have ay amaretti biscuits, but some crumbled over the top would have made it even more toothsome.
And so, until next year, our morello cherry harvest is eaten up and I just have the odd snifter of cherry vodka to remind me of the tastes of early summer. I needn’t feel too sad though, for the plums and apples are ripening on the tree and I have the promise of an equally delicious plum and apple compote soon enough…