A Trip to New Covent Garden
It is another bumper year for cherries and I am glad to have so many ways of enjoying them.
Sadly my neighbour with the abundant morello cherry tree, who supplied me so well last year, has just moved house. The newcomers have delayed moving in, so I have not met them yet let alone become on cherry sharing terms.
So I decided to take a trip to New Covent Garden,which is very close to our home. I arrived just before eight which still made it a very civilised start to the day. The serious buyers had long ﬁnished and gone with their loads but the sellers have not packed up for the day and coped with my small purchase.
With a cost about half that the of the stalls and supermarkets, I was pleased to be able to taste and buy a two kilo box of cherries which enabled me to make some of Beryl’s cherry and apple chutney and a cherry jam and then my own cherry flan and still, and most important, have a bowl full of fresh cherries to tuck into.
This chutney is rich and dark and is fabulous with cold meats and charcuterie
CHERRY and APPLE CHUTNEY
680g (1 1/2 lb) Cherries
340g (3/4 lb) Cooking apples
570ml (1 pint) Vinegar
225g (1/2 lb) Onions
1 tsp ground Ginger
14g (1/2oz) Pickling spice
225g (1/2lb Sugar
225g (8oz) Chopped nuts (optional)
Makes about three average sized 330g jars
Simmer cherries in half the vinegar till soft then remove stones. If you slice them before simmering them removing the stones is easier.
Return to the pan with rough chopped apples and onions, ginger, salt and pickling spice (in a muslin bag); cook till fruit is soft, add remaining vinegar and sugar, stirring till dissolved, then boil steadily till thick . If nuts are liked, add at this stage, then pot and cover.
With a handful more cherries I cooked a quick and easy cherry clafouti – a creamy pudding made with batter. It is a dish from Southern France classically made with cherries but you can try making it with other seasonal fruits.
2 tsp Vanilla essence
A pinch of Salt
500 g Cherries
Icing sugar for sprinkling
Butter a pie dish and spread the pitted cherries over the base
Beat the ﬂour, sugar, salt, eggs, and vanilla together and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Then pour batter over the cherries.
Put into a preheated oven 350F and bake for 45 minutes
Remove from oven and sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.