I really like the way the  vegetables  and fruit is mostly seasonal here in Spain. The cherries became available at the markets in June, but they were quite expensive and haven’t reduced a lot. However, we must remember that they will soon be gone for another year apart from a few supermarkets that import them, so I’m trying to enjoy them as much as possible and I’ve selected a few recipes below including a chutney that I make and it lasts long after the cherries are out of season. The brandy is a very simple recipe and will be ready for Christmas if you do it now! 

Buen Appetito

Cherry Brandy

  • Cherries: 1kg
  • Vodka: 1 litre 
  • Sugar: 300 g
  • Sterilised jars

Rinse the cherries well. Cut off the stalks leaving 1cm still on the cherry – that way the brandy will keep longer as the cherries stay nice and firm. Layer the cherries with the sugar, pour over the alcohol and close the jar.  Put in a dark place at room temperature and shake every day for a week. Forget about the cherries until Christmas!

Cherry Pie

  • 450g fresh cherries
  • 2 eggs
  • 225ml evaporated milk
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 50g raisins

Pre heat oven to 190 °C, Gas mark 5.  

Pastry Case (short crust pastry is best, but use any of your choice)

Stone the cherries and place between 2 deep plates over a pan of boiling water. Steam for 15-20 minutes until soft and allow to cool. Separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites until forming peaks. In another bowl lightly whip the egg yolks with the evaporated milk, sugar and spices until smooth, adding the cherries as you go along. Stir in raisins and fold in egg whites until smooth. Spoon the mixture in a pastry case and bake for 50 minutes. 

Cherry Chutney

  • 1 pkt fresh cherries (canned or frozen can be used) 
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Put cherries, vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Add nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin and pepper. Simmer and keep stirring occasionally until mixture is of a thick consistency.

Cherry Scones

  • 60g butter (flora light) 
  • 240g self-raising flour 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar 
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten 
  • 100ml semi-skimmed milk 
  • 100g glace cherries 

Pre heat oven to 230ºC/gas mark 8. Place flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and rub in butter, next stir in the sugar, then blend in the egg and milk to form a soft dough. Now turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently. Roll out to about 1cm (1/2 in) thick and cut into 5cm (2 in) rounds. Place on a greased baking tray and bake in centre of oven for about 8-10 minutes.

Cherry Cake

  • 225g caster sugar 
  • 225g butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs 
  • 115ml orange juice 
  • 225g plain flour 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 330g sultanas 
  • 225g halved glace cherries 

Preheat oven to 150ºC/gas mark 2. Grease a 23cm x 13cm (9 x 5 inch) loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper. Cream butter or margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add beaten eggs and orange juice and mix well. Sift flour and baking powder together. Reserve 75g of flour mixture and toss it with sultanas and cherries (this will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake). Add the rest to the mixture and blend. Add floured raisins and cherries to dough and mix until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared tin. Bake in oven for 2-1/2 hours.  Wrap the cake in cling-film or foil and store in a biscuit tin. It will taste best after several days.