Cherries, for your sweet desserts as well as your savory dishes

The first stone fruit of summer, the cherry, is a fruit that stands out in almost all registers: savory dishes (especially in an Eastern European cinnamon soup, or even pan-fried as an accompaniment to meat), sweet (in essential cakes) such as Schwarzwald or Clafoutis , in jam, ice cream, fruit paste or syrup) or with vinegar (in sweet and sour flavors perfect for charcuterie or game), without forgetting a nice collection of spirits, such as cherry or guignolet.

In eau-de-vie, canned or to taste

The cherry, which certainly originates from the Caucasus and Asia Minor, would have arrived in Europe in the trunks of the Roman general Lucullus in the year 73 BC. In France, it is during the Middle Ages that it achieves good fame. . Louis XV, a great lover of cherries, will greatly contribute to the cultivation and development of the production, which is distinguished in three main categories.

Sour cherries, such as Morello cherries, are mainly intended for making tart cherries. The so-called “English” cherries are used for preserves, jams and liqueurs, while the sweet cherries are those that we harvest in our orchards or buy in the stalls to taste them. The most famous are bigarreaux such as burlats, hearts-of-pigeon or Napoleon. Let us cite among the French regions which are proud of beautiful varieties, the early cherries of Céret in the Pyrénées-Orientales or the cherries of Ventoux.

Wonders in savory dishes

Raw cherries go wonderfully with baby spinach, arugula or basil. Complete the picture with mozzarella or feta for a fresh and original summer salad. For savory dishes, dry cherries in the juice around a roast chicken, with a leg of lamb flavored with rosemary. Another combination that has proven itself, that with a duck breast; the cherries are then pan-fried for a few moments with, for example, star anise and cinnamon.

With fish, the cherry also makes happy marriages. Imagine a tuna tartare with cherries marinated in balsamic vinegar and Timut pepper, or an octopus risotto with tarragon and roasted cherries!

The icing on the cake, this fruit freezes perfectly and will pair well with fall or winter dishes like a Cauliflower, Cherry and Lemon Thyme Crumble, so load up!

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The recipes

► Eggplant-mozzarella pastry with cherries

For 4 people

2 eggplants
300 g cherries
250 g ratatouille
200 g buffalo mozzarella
3 tbsp. olive oil
8 large basil leaves
30 g of butter
15 cl port wine
Fine salt and ground pepper

With a sharp knife or mandolin, cut long thin slices of aubergine. Drizzle them with olive oil and brown them on both sides. Season them with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

On a square of baking paper, place a cake circle of 10 cm in diameter, then thin slices of aubergine so that they float widely above. Garnish the inside with ratatouille and mozzarella, season lightly and fold the aubergine slices in towards the center to get a full puck. Remove the pastry ring and place the puck on a non-stick baking sheet. Repeat the operation to make 3 more eggplant palettes. Bake them for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan with butter, saute the cherries over high heat, deglaze with port wine. Let caramelize for a few minutes.

Serve the aubergine meatballs with the roasted cherries.

► My mother’s clafoutis

Cherries, for your sweet desserts as well as your savory dishes

For 12 people

3 kg of cherries from the garden
300 g flour
250 g of sugar
6 eggs
2 pinches fleur de sel
20 cl of milk
2 packets of vanilla sugar
20 g of butter

Rinse the cherries under cold running water and dry them on a cloth. Grease a large ovenproof dish and lightly flour it. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

In a bowl, mix flour, egg yolks, sugar and salt. Beat the egg whites very stiff and carefully fold them into the previous preparation. You get a dough with a texture similar to pancakes, slightly thicker.

Arrange the cherries without putting them in the dish, pour the batter in and bake them for 50 minutes at 200°C. Take the clafoutis out of the oven and sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Let it cool before eating.

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