Cherries are causing quite a stir on the internet.
No one can deny cherries are tasty, sweet and good for you, but if you’re going to cook with them you have to face the issue of getting the pit (or stone) out as cleanly as possible.
The longest spit of a cherry stone in competition is 28.51m (93ft 6.5in) by Brian ‘Young Gun’ Krause from America but if you’re planning on cooking with them you may need a more hygienic way to get the stones out! A quick Google search reveals a million different hacks from ingenious people who don’t own a cherry pitter. Using chopsticks, drinking straws, paper clips and even a beer bottle it seems there are many weird and wonderful ways to pit your cherries!
Once you’ve picked your pitting method, don’t throw the stones away -before the invention of the hot water bottle, heated cherry stones were placed in pans to warm up beds on cold winter nights and in the 17th century, girls played a game where they recited a rhyme and counted cherry stones to find out who they’d marry! Forget Tinder why not let a fruit choose your date?
English cherries are much rarer than they once were. Before the Second World War there were about 40,000 acres of cherry orchards in Britain but over the past 50 years our cherry industry has dramatically declined. National Cherry Day was born as a way for our cherry farmers to fight back, helping to raise the profile of this amazingly versatile fruit which can be used in sweet and savoury dishes as well as some amazing drinks. British cherries are not about for long but when they are it is well worth adding them to your diet. They are a great source of vitamin C and fibre, and eating just ten will make up one of your five a day. When buying cherries, choose the big plump, round, shiny ones and opt for those that have green stalks, not brown. They’ll keep in the fridge for a couple of days but will taste their very best when you allow them to reach room temperature before eating.
To mark National Cherry Day we’ve made a chocolate crepe millefeuille with a cherry mascarpone cream.
Mascarpone cream with English cherries and bitter chocolate crepe millefeuille.
For the Crepes
- 125g plain flour
- 50g good quality cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 120ml milk
- 120ml water
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
For the Cream
- 500g mascarpone
- 150g castor sugar
- 200 great chopped fresh English cherries
- 8g cornflour
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour cocoa and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled flat griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour the batter onto a griddle or frying pan, using approximately 60ml for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a fish slice or spatula, turn and cook the other side.
In a separate bowl mix the mascarpone and sugar together with the cornflour and fold in to the cherries.
Basic crepe recipe with bitter cocoa and chocolate cook as normal for crepes .
Then layer up with cherry cream and repeat.
Top with Icing sugar to serve .