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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Sugared Cherries

Ingredients:

3lb/1.35 kg firm black cherries with their stalks on if possible
3lb/1.35 kg sugar
1 1/2 pints/750ml water

Trim the cherry stalks to 1 inch in length (2.5cm).  Make up a syrup of sugar and water and add to the fruit.  Simmer slowly until the cherries begin to look transparent, rather like glace cherries.
Drain the fruit from the syrup and spread it out on cake racks to dry.  Leave overnight in a warm place.  Next day spread them out on greaseproof paper and leave in an airing cupboard for another 24 hours.  Pack into a plastic box layering them with waxed paper.

To serve as sweets dust them with icing sugar first or dip each into a little melted plain chocolate.

These would be lovely to bring out as a special treat at Christmas, so time to make them now as the cherries start to put in an appearance.

4 comments:

  1. These sound gorgeous - do you stone them first? You are right about me feeling frustrated about not being able to do things at the moment! The elderflowers on my trees are just perfect, I might try cutting the lower flowerheads off and have a go at drying them. Would you lay them on a wire tray or hang them up in small bunches? Or what? I've only used them fresh up to now.

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  2. I thought you would be chomping on the bit. Its a recipe I am about to make for the first time Rowan. It struck me as a similar recipe to the one that was used on the Victorian Farm Christmas for candied plums. My cherries are ready in the garden and I managed to pick a load the other night but there are still loads more up the tree. Battle is now on to get them before the birds do. I have bottled 12 bottles of cherries in syrup but because mine are the red cherries they have sort of come up a faded pink. Will be okay in a pie or as a basis for a cherry sauce. I have also put another 3lb into the frezer. Think have had about 16lb in weight so far. Even though I have a cherry tree, its not often we get the cherries off the tree so it is somewhat of a novelty to have anything to do with them. There are two schools of thought with cherries. All the older books say that you can keep the stones in the cherry - which I have never done before. However, I have pitted them a messy business at the best of times. I don't think I will bother pitting them again. It can cause discolouration where you remove the pits from and also if it is a paler fruit it leaches the fruit of its colour. Whereas I believe that if the pits are left in (will give an almondy flavour so I am led to understand from my mum. However as I see it the fruit does not leach of its colour,which looks more attractive. The cherries themselves are very nice to eat.

    Elderflowers - I have read that you can freeze the heads in polythene bags in the freezer and then you use the petals in the same quantities as you would for fresh so it may be worth you freezing them. I would also dry them as well all I do is use a tea tray covered in paper tissue and lay the bracts out on the tissue and cover and then pop into the airing cupboard. when dry after a couple of days remove all the green stem material and crumble the flowers into a storage jar for use later on. I do have a recipe somewhere for dried elderflower wine so will post this up as a separate post as it is a useful one to make when you don't necessarily have access to fresh bracts/flowerheads. I hope this helps; Remember not long to go and freezing the flowerheads may be your best option. That way round you would be able to make the cordial although I am not sure about Elderflower Champagne, although nothing ventured nothing gained as most recipes don't use any extra yeast but rely on the natural yeast in the flower head combined with the sugar to create the fizz.

    Hope this helps and please look after yourself. Remember you are half way there not much longer, then you can REALLY PLAY permission granted.

    Tricia

    aka pattypan

    xx

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  3. P.S. If having a go at the Elderflower fizz if nothing happens after a few days add a little wine making yeast to set it going

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  4. Thanks Tricia, I'll see what I can reach in the way of elder heads today and have a go at both freezing and drying.

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