All things Cherries

Cherries are the most fabulous ingredient, sweet and savoury and I am going to share a few of my favourite recipes below that I have recently written for Chiltern Food Magazine



Confit Duck Brushetta with Cherriesย 


Images by Jamie Orlando Smith

Makes 6

Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 3.5 hours
4 Duck legs
Small handful of Thyme
4 Garlic cloves, skin on
300g Cherries, halved and pitted
150ml Red Wine
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp Butter
Large bunch of Watercress
6 Sourdough slices

In a tight fitting oven dish, lay the duck legs skin side down and add in the thyme, garlic cloves and a splash of water. Seal tightly with foil and bake in the oven at 120c/100fan for 2 hours. Once they are ready, take the foil off and turn the duck legs over and roast for 1 more hour.

Thirty minutes before the duck is ready, add the halved cherries and red wine into a sauce pan and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 5 minutes until the cherries have softened and the wine has thickened slightly. Add in the balsamic and butter and season well. Set aside until needed.

Toast the sourdough slices and top with watercress. Once the duck is ready, shred the meat from the legs with two forks and divide between the sourdough toasts. Top with the cherry sauce and serve immediately.


Black Forest Chocolate Pancakes with Cherriesย 


Image by Jamie Orlando Smith

Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes

125g Self-Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
4 tbsp Caster Sugar
2-3 tbsp Cocoa Powder
130ml Whole Milk
1 Egg, beaten
4 tbsp Butter, melted
300g Cherries, halved
4 tbsp Kirsch (optional)

In a saucepan, heat the halved cherries with 2 tbsp caster sugar and a small splash of water and cook for 4-5 minutes until the fruit has softened and the liquid from the cherries has started to thicken. Allow to cool and set aside until needed.

In a large bow, combine the flour, baking powder, remaining 2tbsp caster sugar and the cocoa powder. In a jug, whisk together the milk, egg and 2 tbsp of butter. Gradually combine the wet ingredients into the dry until you have a thick batter. It should be the consistency of a thick custard. Now, add the remaining butter to a large frying pan and spoon tablespoon sized amounts of batter evenly spread in the pan. You will need to fry the pancakes in batches. Keep the heat on medium and leave the pancakes until you see bubbles popping on the surface.


Carefully flip them and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Keep the pancakes warm while you cook the others. Meanwhile, reheat the cherry sauce and add the kirsch if using.

Serve a stack of pancakes with the cherry sauce spooned over.


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