Preserve those British cherries!
by Miss Foodwise
Before the second world war there were about 40 000 acres of cherry orchards in Britain. These were mainly in Kent, Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
The past 50 years however 90 % of these cherry orchards have disappeared.
The labour was very intensive as the trees were very high, too high to cover the crop from the birds. I were mostly women who harvested the cherries on high ladders with baskets tied to their waists.
To tackle this problem nowadays and to revive cherry growing, dwarf plants are planted to replace the towering trees. The dwarf trees are covered with netting so the birds can't steal the crop and the orchard has a maximum yield
Cherries come in two types: sweet and sour. My mum and I used to make this cherry brandy and the recipe is handed down by my grandmother. For cherry brandy it's better to use the sour variety however you can use the sweet ones and slightly decrease the sugar you use. Or not, if you like it very sweet!
So what about you? What do you like to brew?
What do you need
Eau de vie or Vodka: 1liter
sugar: 300 g
• rinse the cherries well
• cut of the stalks leaving 1cm still on the cherry, that way the brandy will keep longer as
the cherries stay nice and firm.
• layer the cherries with the sugar
• pour over the alcohol and close the jar
• put in a dark place at room temperature and shake every day for a week
• forget about the cherries until christmas or thanksgiving!
I have jars that date back to 1999, these cherries are very very strong!
Enjoy in a little glass or why not with a scoop of ice cream...
We may have a short season, but British cherries are the best in the world. I think the Kent ones are best, others are close though. I love making chutney, with: cherries, star anise, vinegar and sugar. Amazing with duck, good with pork and other things. Rare breed pork belly with cherry chutney, so good. Next year its cherry ice cream. I have just got my ice cream maker off EBay.
Possibly Bavoire, I have nailed Bavoire (a little help from Gordon). Working out how to put the cherry flavour in a bavoire, there’s a challenge.