Monday, November 30, 2015

Cherry Tart

Cherries, cherries cherries.

We've always headed to Young, cherry picking capital in NSW for our yearly supply of cherries. With the best time to go being November to December, invite your friends and family to go picking. Indulge in everything cherry, whether its cherry jam, pickled cherries, cherry wine or cherry port. Or pick a few kilograms and wow your friends and family with this delicious cherry tart.

This year, I've written a "How to go about a day trip to go cherry picking in Young" guide for all of those that ask about my cherry picking weekend. (

Make sure you have a couple of drivers for the 4 hour drive and discover Young in a day or two. My hubby thinks I'm crazy as I've driven there and back in a day a few times now. But I totally recommend that you visit Young and taste their plump red cherries and be impressed.

Cherry tart by Bill Granger

125g unsalted butter
90g caster sugar
175g plain flour
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons almond meal

170mL cream
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour
550g cherries, halved and pitted (fresh is best)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a 24cm round tart tin.

2. To make the pastry stir together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

3. Add the flour and salt to stir to make a soft dough.

4. Transfer the dough to the tin and press evenly into the base and side of the tin with your fingertips.

5. Put the tin on a baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes or until pastry is slightly puffy. Remove from oven and sprinkle the almond meal over the base.

6. To make the filling, whisk together the cream eggs, vanilla and sugar.

7. Add the flour and whist until well mixed.

8. Arrange the cherries, slightly overlapping over the pastry base and pour the cream filling evenly over the cherries.

9. Return the tart to the oven for a further 40-50mins until the filling is firm.

10. Leave to cool and serve with cream or ice cream.
This didn't last very long in my household, yummy!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Cherry Clafoutis

This is a dessert I can never say correctly and hubby just laughs whenever I attempt to say this. Admitting to this fact, please don't ask me how to pronounce it.

I recently made this dessert and I can say its a light and delicious dessert that the kids and I demolished this in minutes.

A little warning though, I kept the cherry stones in as it keeps the shape and flavour of the fruit intact. Please let your guests know before serving. Or you could pit the cherries but I was little time poor to do this.


500g fresh dark cherries
1 tbs caster sugar
2 tbs kirsh (I omitted this due to not having any)

2 eggs
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar

1/4 cup (50g) plain flour
1/2 cup (125mL) sour cream or crème fraiche
1/2 cu (125mL) cream
grated rind of 1 lemon

butter for baking
icing sugar for dusting


1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.

2. Place the cherries in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle caster sugar and kirsh, (if using) over them.

3. Bake 5-6mins or until cherries are cooked but still firm. Set the cherries aside and reserve cooking juices.

4. For the custard, beat the eggs with a mixer, then add caster sugar and beat until frothy.

5. Carefully add the flour and combine, then add 1 tablespoon of the reserved cherry cooking juices, sour cream, cream and lemon rind.

6. Dot a small baking dish with a little butter and spread half the custard over the base of the dish.

7. Spoon in the cooked cherries to cover the custard, then add the remaining custard.

8. Bake for 25-30minutes, the top will be golden and the cherries will appear as little mounds in the custard.

9. Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar.

Tips and findings

I have made this a couple of times and even had leftovers cold the next day. Its one of those desserts that does taste good either warm or cold.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pickled cherries

As Christmas is only just round the corner, I like to give presents of the homemade kind. This year, I was thinking of gifts of cherries. To herald the plump red cherries coming into season, the first box of cherries for 2015 sold for $65,000 raising money for Save our Sons and the Sydney Markets Foundation.

With cherries on my mind, I wanted to try pickling cherries. Having read that these are great served with pate, duck or pork rillettes, terrines, hams and pickled pork, all of which will probably be part of the Christmas feast this year.

I'm planning to make my mandarin jam basted ham with pickled cherries on the side. Drooling just thinking about this. Following Maggie Beer's recipe for pickled cherries, I can't wait to try these on Christmas Day.

Makes 1kg jar or 5x200mL.


850mL white wine vinegar
700g sugar
24 black peppercorns
12 cloves
6 bay leaves
1 clove of garlic
1kg Morello cherries (I just used fresh dark cherries)


1. Boil all the ingredients except for the cherries in a stainless steel saucepan for 10 minutes, then leave to cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, wash and dry the cherries thoroughly discarding any that are bruised or marked.

3. Trim the stalks to 1cm long. then pack the fruit into a sterilised 1 Litre preserving jar.

4. Pour the cold syrup over the cherries, then seal and store for at least a month. (Maggie uses her after 6 weeks but states that they will keep indefinitely).

Tips and findings

I may used fresh dark cherries instead of Morello and skipped the step in regards to trimming the stalks to 1cm as I wanted to keep intact the stems that were on already on the cherries. As these pickled cherries were going to be given as gifts, I packed the cherries into 7x200mL glass jars. I also added a bay leaf in each jar for a little Christmas green to go with the red cherries.

However after a day or two, the cherries started to float to the surface. In light of this, I waited a couple of days and repacked cherries into 5x200mL sterilised glass jars.

I also had a taste test of 3 day old cherries in the pickling syrup and it has notes of sweet and savoury. I think it will be a hit with the ham, will keep you posted.
I'll leave you on a few interesting facts about cherries. You'll want to make sure you're never low on  cherries again.

Nutritional Facts of Cherries Cherries are a source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper iron, phosphorous, vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid. They also contain traces of niacin, folate and vitamin A. One hundred grams of cherries is only 63 calories. Cherries are also a good source of dietary fibre, they are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.

Health Benefits of Cherries
Cherries act as an antioxidant. They can reduce the pain of arthritis, gout, headaches, and can be used for treating bronchitis, asthma and chronic diarrhoea. Cherry juice is helpful for the function of the immune system. Cherries are used for nausea and vomiting, wild cherry bark is an important cough remedy.