What treasures are truly worth the wait? A pie in the oven, a long-awaited holiday, holding a loved one again after time apart? This season’s cherries have taken their sweet time, but we know that good things come to those who wait, and the moment is here at last. Cherry season has arrived!
Whether you love to eat them plain as a sweet fruit snack or love to cook with them, cherries offer loads of health benefits. One portion of cherries is around a cup, or up to 21 cherries and let’s be honest, it’s no hardship to eat this many plump beauties. Packed with antioxidants, cherries help fight diseases, support immune function, and have anti-inflammatory properties, making them a must-have for a healthy diet.
Not sure how to enjoy your cherries this cherry season? Check out these 3 recipes with cherries you’ll love.
Roasted Cherry, Basil, & Mozzarella Puffs
Recipe by Saadiyah Hendricks
Who said cherries were reserved for dessert? In this vegetarian crowd-pleaser their more savoury qualities come to play with aromatic herbs and garlic, creamy cheese and flaky pastry.
1 cup pitted Cherry Time cherries
1 x 400g roll of readymade puff pastry
3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
200g buffalo mozzarella, torn into chunks
1 cup torn basil leaves
To serve: crème fraîche
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and sprinkle with flour.
Roll out the puff pastry onto the prepared baking tray and prick the pastry with a fork in a few spaces.
In a bowl, mix the garlic with the olive oil.
Brush the pastry with some garlic oil, leaving some aside.
Toss the cherries in the remaining garlic oil and spread across the pastry, taking care to leave a border around the edges.
Season with salt and pepper.
Place the tart in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, scatter the mozzarella across the top, and bake for a further 5 minutes or or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Scatter over the fresh basil, cut, and serve immediately with a dollop of crème fraîche.
Roasted Cherry, Basil, & Mozzarella Puffs
Recipe by Angie Batis
These sweet mouthfuls are bursting with fruity flavour, creaminess and crunch. Cherries and almond essence make a heavenly pairing in the ice cream, while the devilish hot choc-fudge sauce brings everything together in a passionate embrace.
450g fresh Cherry Time cherries
80g castor sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tin (385g) condensed milk
2 tsp almond essence 1½ tsp vanilla essence
400ml whipping cream
226g milk or dark chocolate, chopped
¾ cup whipping cream
2 tbsp butter ¼ cup light corn syrup or golden syrup
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
To make sandwiches: waffles or cookies
Pit all your cherries by pulling the fruit apart by hand and removing the pips.
Add the cherries to a medium-sized pot along with caster sugar and water, then heat on medium-low until the sugar has dissolved and the cherries have broken down and released some juices (about 15 minutes).
Pour into a bowl and allow to cool.
Once cool, blitz your cherries in a food processor, leaving them slightly chunky to add texture to your ice cream.
In a small bowl, mix together the condensed milk, almond essence and vanilla essence. In another bowl or stand mixer, whisk the cream until stiff peaks form.
Slowly add the condensed-milk mixture and continue beating until creamy and smooth. Using a spatula, add 3/4 of the cherries to the cream mixture and stir well.
Transfer the mixture to a loaf tin or Tupperware tub.
Spoon the remaining cherries on top and gently swirl it in with a spoon to create a pattern. Cover tightly with cling wrap and freeze overnight or until the ice cream is your desired consistency.
To make the chocolate sauce
In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together the chopped chocolate, cream, butter, corn syrup or golden syrup and cocoa powder.
Heat on medium, stirring constantly until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is nice and smooth, taking care not to burn it. Add a splash of milk or cream if you like a silkier consistency.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla essence.
To serve, take the ice cream out of the freezer to soften, before scooping.
Cherry Lane Cocktail
Recipe by: Mixologist Travis Kuhn
Cherries have been called the nectar of the gods, a butterfly’s kiss, and the deepest wish of a hummingbird’s heart. Here’s how to weave their spell into your very own elixir. This sophisticated potion offers a balance between the sweetness of fresh cherries and the spicy hit of American Rye whiskey, with a zesty splash of citrus.
40ml rye whiskey
40ml fresh cherry juice
20ml Cointreau orange liqueur
15ml lemon juice 2 dashes chocolate bitters
Place all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker.
Add 1½ scoops of cubed ice and shake hard.
Fine-strain over fresh ice into a tumbler glass, and garnish with a fresh cherry.
To ensure you have the very best fruit for your creations make sure you put ruby-red Cherry Time cherries on your shopping list this harvest season. Look out for fresh Cherry Time cherries in selected PnP stores or have them delivered right to your door if you live in the Western Cape by ordering online from Cherry Time.