Celebrate the season with these cherry recipes

This year’s winter holiday deserves a little extra attention, so celebrate this festive time with these delicious cherry inspired recipes

Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 10:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 10:58 am

Brought to you by Love Fresh Cherries, the UK’s national cherry association, and chef Jennifer Joyce for the most tasty holiday recipes - because cherries should be a part of everyone's festivities this year.

Burrata with cherries, blush oranges and basil oil with lemon breadcrumbs

Serves 4-6 prep 20 minutes cook 8 minutes

Cherry recipes

Ingredients

1 tbsp lemon zest

1 slice sourdough blitzed into crumbs

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Burrata

1 large ball burrata drained

10 fresh cherries pitted

3 blush oranges

1 head red or white chicory, leaves separated

Lamb

2 tbsps chopped basil

2 tbsps chopped flat leaf parsley

2 tsps capers

1 shallot finely diced

Cherry rice

2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

2 tsps white wine vinegar

Method

Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan. Place the breadcrumbs on a baking tray and mix with olive oil and some seasoning. Bake for 5 minutes and then toss with the lemon zest.

Slice the skin from the oranges and then cut into slices. Place the endive, burrata, oranges and cherries on a platter and set aside.

In a small bowl mix the basil, parsley, shallot, capers, oil and vinegar together.

Meringue

Season and set aside.

When ready to serve, spoon the dressing over the salad and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.

Rolled leg of lamb stuffed with cherries, dried apricots, pistachios

Serves 4-6 prep 20 minutes cook 25 minutes

Ingredients

2 kilo leg of lamb boned and pounded flat

75g fresh breadcrumbs

20g flat leaf parsley

1 egg yolk

20 pitted fresh cherries

10 soft dried apricots halved

50g chopped pistachios

Greek yogurt for serving

Method

Preheat oven to 240c/220c fan. Place the breadcrumbs, parsley, egg yolk and some seasoning in the food processor. Blend until it is a paste.

Season the the meat with the skin side down. Spread the paste horizontally down the centre of the meat. You want to be able to roll a long thin roll. Top with the cherries, pistachios and apricots.

Roll up and tie tightly with kitchen string.

Place on a baking tray with a rack. Season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 200c/180c fan and cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.

When ready to serve, thickly slice the meat and arrange on a platter. Serve with the crispy jewelled rice and a bowl of Greek yogurt to spoon over.

NOTE: Get your butcher to debone the lamb and ask him to pound it thinner. so you can roll it long and thin.

Crispy jewelled cherry rice

Serves 4-6 prep 20 minutes cook 25 minutes

Ingredients

400g basmati rice

200g fresh or frozen cherries pitted

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsps butter

3 tbsps vegetable oil

3 tbsps Greek yogurt

Large pinch saffron threads crushed

50g chopped blanched almonds

2 tbsps chopped parsley

2 tbsps chopped fresh dill

Method

Wash the rice 2-3 times in a large bowl of water until the water comes out clear. Drain and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Heavily salt the water and add the rice. Boil until al dente, about 5-6 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

While the rice is cooking, Place the cherries in a saucepan with the cinnamon. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat. Saute for 7-8 minutes and then remove from the heat.

Using a heavy skillet or frying pan, about 25-28cm wide, place a large piece of non-stick baking paper in the bottom. Add the butter, saffron threads and vegetable oil and gently melt. Turn off and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix two good handfuls of the cooked rice with the Greek yogurt. Press this mixture into the bottom and sides of the frying pan.

Mix the remaining rice with the cherries, the liquid and the almonds. Press this into the frying pan.

Turn the heat on the lowest setting your hob will go. Use a wooden spoon handle to make holes into the rice mixture, pressing it all the way to the bottom of the pan. This will allow the steam to release while the rice crisps.

Cook for 25 minutes uncovered. When ready to eat, place a large platter over the rice. Using oven gloves, carefully flip the rice over.

Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and dill.

Meringue Christmas wreath with cherry kirsch compote and hazelnuts

Serves 4-6 prep 20 minutes cook 1 hour

Ingredients

4 egg whites

200g castor sugar

1 tsp cornflour

1 tsp white wine vinegar

150g fresh cherries, half pitted and the rest left whole with stems

3 tbsps Kirsch (cherry liqueur or you can use brandy)

75g castor sugar

1 tsp vanilla paste

300ml double cream

2 tbsps castor sugar

50g toasted and chopped hazelnuts

Method

Preheat oven to 140c/120c fan. Whisk the egg white in a scrupulously clean bowl using a standing mixer or electric handheld whisk. Start the speed on low and when they become foamy increase the speed to medium.

When soft peaks form, start to add the sugar, one tbsp at a time. Keep adding until it’s all incorporated and the stiff glossy peaks form. Add the cornflour and vinegar and stir once or twice to mix through.

Cover a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. Draw a 28cm circle on the paper and then drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the paper in the shape of a wreath.

Use the back of a spoon to make indentions into the meringue spoonfuls. Bake for 90 minutes and then turn the oven off. Leave the meringue in the oven until cool.

While the meringue is cooking, place the pitted cherries in a medium saucepan. Add the kirsch, sugar and vanilla. Simmer the mixture until the liquid is syrupy, about 8-10 minutes. Remove and set aside until cool.

Whisk the cream with the castor sugar until soft peaks form. Spoon this onto the cooled meringue. Drizzle the cherry syrup over and top with the poached cherries and fresh ones.

Sprinkle the whole wreath with chopped hazelnuts.