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‘It’s very moreish!’: readers’ delicious cherry recipes, from frozen margaritas to strudel


Frozen cherry margarita

I rent a cherry tree on a farm in Northiam, East Sussex. Each year we are given a week to harvest the cherries from our tree, so we make a day of it with a picnic nearby. The tree looks small, but last year we harvested 15kg in one day. We make jam, pies, ice-cream and liqueurs; we give away some then freeze the rest after stoning them. This means we have a year-round supply of my favourite cocktail: frozen cherry margarita. I can’t drink tequila so I swap it for vodka. The result is delicious and very moreish, so be warned!

Fran Evans’s frozen cherry margarita.
Fran Evans’s frozen cherry margarita.

Put 50g caster sugar and 3 tbsp water into a small pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Then, using a blender, combine with 200g frozen cherries, 4 tbsp fresh lime juice, 150ml tequila or vodka, 3 tbsp cherry liqueur and a handful of ice until smooth. Serve in chilled glasses. Fran Evans, London

Cherry chutney

Margrete Moore’s cherry chutney.
Margrete Moore’s cherry chutney.

Cherries are my favourite summer fruit. I like to eat them as a simple chutney with chicken or cheese. It’s also good mixed half and half with a tomato chutney. Wash and de-stone 400g cherries, finely chop a chilli and boil both of these, along with 3 tbsp sugar, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 4 tbsp jam sugar with pectin, and salt and pepper to taste, in a pot for 10 minutes. Leave to cool and set. Margrete Moore, consultant and administrator, Denmark

Cherry frangipane with homemade cherry jam

Sian Polhill Thomas’s cherry frangipane.
Sian Polhill Thomas’s cherry frangipane.

Once I have picked about 1kg of cherries, I make a jam by simmering with 800g jam sugar and a pinch of vanilla (optional) uncovered in a jam pan over a medium-high heat for 30-40 minutes. When ready, you can place the jam into sterilised jars and leave to cool. To make the frangipane pastry, crumble 125g butter and 250g flour together, then add one egg and mix into a dough. Leave this dough to chill in the fridge and grease a 28cm (11in) round tin. Roll the pastry and neatly place in the tin, covering with greaseproof paper and cooking beads. I like my base crunchy and brown, so cooking at 180C for 20 minutes does the trick. To make the frangipane, cream 225g butter and 225g caster sugar. Add five eggs one by one, plus 225g ground almonds and 50g flour as you fold in the eggs. Add 1 tsp almond extract and mix one final time. Once the base has cooled, spoon over your cherry jam. Then spoon over your frangipane mix. Pit and halve 15 more cherries and scatter them over the raw frangipane mix along with some sliced almonds. Bake at 180C for about 40 minutes. Once cool, drizzle over a thick almond-flavoured icing and sprinkle with a dusting of icing sugar. Sian Polhill-Thomas, live continuity announcer, London

Cherry gin

Dorothy’s cherry gin.
Dorothy’s cherry gin.

Each year we get a glut of morellos and we make cherry gin. All you need is a litre bottle of gin, a sandwich box full of cherries and sugar. Pour half the gin into another empty bottle, then fill both bottles with the cherries until they are at least half full. Then pour in enough sugar to cover the top layer of cherries and screw on the lid. Shake daily for three to 12 weeks, taste and sieve to remove the cherries. Save for Christmas presents, or for when you have a cough. Dorothy, quality engineer, Brighton

Gluten-free cherry and almond sponge pudding

Caroline Lisle’’s gluten-free cherry and almond sponge pudding.
Caroline Lisle’s gluten-free cherry and almond sponge pudding.

Place 400g of stoned dark cherries on the bottom of a pudding dish. In a large bowl, cream 200g butter with 200g golden caster sugar, then gradually beat in four lightly whisked eggs. If the mixture curdles, throw in a small amount of ground almonds with the eggs. Now fold in 200g ground almonds, plus 1 tsp of French almond essence. Layer this sponge mixture over the cherries and sprinkle the top with a handful of flaked almonds, then put in a preheated 180C oven for 60 minutes. If the top browns too quickly, cover with a sheet of baking paper. Serve warm with cream or vanilla ice-cream. Cal, Nottingham

Sweet cherry strudel

Tom Vazdar’s sweet cherry strudel.
Tom Vazdar’s sweet cherry strudel.

This recipe is how my mother and grandmother made the best sweet cherry strudel ever. Wash and pit 2kg cherries in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar, 2tbsp breadcrumbs and cinnamon, as desired. Put 1kg flour and 1tsp salt in a separate bowl and add 100ml sunflower oil and about 500ml warm water. Knead into a soft, smooth dough (it should not stick). Divide into four balls (each dough ball makes one loaf of strudel), coat with a little more oil, cover with a cloth and let it rest for half an hour. Then, place on a work surface covered with a cloth and flour lightly. Roll out one ball flat, then spread the cherries into two-thirds of the rolled dough and roll up to enclose the filling, using the cloth to help you. Place the rolled strudel in a greased pan, coat with melted butter and bake at 180C until golden. Wait for the strudel to cool, then sprinkle with sugar, cut into pieces and serve. Tomislav Vazdar, Croatia

Ki-ba mocktail

Lauren Harris’s ki-ba mocktail.
Lauren Harris’s ki-ba mocktail.

AKA cherry juice and banana nectar mocktail. When I did my Erasmus year abroad in southern Germany, I worked in a biergarten as a waitress. Obviously, I wasn’t allowed to drink on the job, so the bartender used to make me a ki-ba (Kirsch-Banane-Saft, or “cherry-banana-juice”). He poured thick banana nectar and tart sour cherry juice over ice, so the two colours marbled together beautifully in the glass. Whenever I make it for myself, I’m immediately transported back to that biergarten in Bamberg, and summer 1999. Lauren Harris, head of communications, Sheffield



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