Recipe of the Day Categories:
Buy This at Allposters.com
Chez Panisse Fruit
Buy at AllPosters.com
Shop Seasonal Fruits
at The Fruit Company
patronage of our affiliate
partners supports this web site.
We thank you! In other words, please shop at LBC
Fresh Sweet Cherries with Stems
Buy This at Allposters.com
“The cherry is one of the earliest fruits
to repay its yearly gratitude to the
La Belle Cuisine
Life is just a bowl of
Cook and the Gardener:
A Year of Recipes and
Writings from the French
© 1999 by Amanda Hesser, published by W. W. Norton & Co.
“…Of all the ripe fruit teeming in the garden, cherries are the greatest chore to harvest. Monsieur Milbert likes cherries, and he likes to see all the
picked from his handful of trees. The trees were so heavily laden with
that from a distance, they seemed to have red branches beneath their wispy
It became my duty to get up on a ladder and pick them. Every day until the last
cherry was harvested, I had to lug the library ladder out to the garden. Once I
got it up to the garden and propped it under a tree, there was no turning back.
I was going tog et every ripe cherry if it killed me.
My first day I began picking early in the morning to beat the noon hear.
Monsieur Milbert was out admiring his garden. He did so often, as if it were
his Narcissian reflecting pool…
He could hear me rustling up against the branches of the cherry tree with the
ladder poking between the tangle of branches. Without doing too much damage,
managed to place myself in a prime picking spot. I reached dangerously for a
far-out limb, trying to get a fat bunch. I was gasping with effort, wrestling
the branches and absorbed in my business of one for the bowl, one for
That’s when I heard a sharp, ‘Hein…Non, non.’ I looked down to find
Monsieur Milbert shaking his head, puffing hard on his cigarette, which might as
have been in my face. He snickered, then walked away briskly. He came back
few minutes later and thrust a stick up at me on the ladder. ‘Here, try this,’
said, and stomped off once more.
He had gone and cut a branch from one of the linden trees – a straight, smooth
one, light enough for me to wield. He had trimmed it so that the end formed a
hook, where it met with an offshooting branch, perfect for pulling the branches
closer to me rather than risking my life for a few cherries. I gathered more
cherries that day than I could carry home…”
“Cherries hold up well preserved in alcohol. Because the skin protects the pulp,
they do not turn limp and soggy. The only drawback is that they lose their
is important to us a good-quality alcohol – eau-de-vie, vodka or brandy –
the cherries will absorb it. Bad booze makes for bad-tasting cherries.
The type of cherry is also an important consideration. Ripe Bing cherries and
the small French ‘grillotes’,
which are slightly acidic and very juicy, both work
well. The following…versions
show how I preserved the glut of cherries I faced
Most recipes for cherries eau-de-vie call for sugar. I do not use it because I
eat them with either sweet things like vanilla ice cream of alone with a piece
good dark chocolate. I added sugar to the cherries eau de vie with lemon peel
an experiment, and the result was pleasant but more timid.”
Enough cherries to fill the jar (3-4 cups), washed, dried,
Eau-de-vie, vodka or brandy (80 proof) to cover
(3 - 3 1/2 cups)
Sterilize a 1-quart Mason jar with boiling water and dry with a
clean towel. Loosely pack the cherries in the jar, leaving a 1/2-inch space at
Cover with eau-de-vie and seal. Store in a cool, dark place. Let
for at least 2 months before using.
Cherries Eau-de-Vie with Lemon Peel
You’ll need 1/4 cup of sugar and 3 wide strips of lemon peel.
jar with boiling water and dry with a clean towel. In a small pan
cup of the eau-de-vie and the sugar to a boil, to dissolved the sugar.
Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
Loosely pack the cherries and the lemon peel in the jar, leaving a 1/2-inch
space at the top. Pour the cooled sugar syrup over the cherries, then cover with
the remaining eau-de-vie. Seal the jar. Store in a cool, dark place. Let
macerate for at least 2 months before using.
Flambéed Cherries with Crème Fraîche
Serves 4 to 6
4 cups cherries
1 cup Crème Fraîche
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup Armagnac or brandy
1. Pit the cherries. Use a cherry pitter if you have one. I find
tedious and prefer just to use my thumbnail to split the cherry and
squeeze out the pit. This is especially quick if the cherries are ripe, in
case they will
also be juicy. Do it over a bowl so you don’t
lose too much juice.
2. Place a dollop of crème fraîche in each of four serving bowls and place
bowls in the refrigerator to keep chilled. It’s important to do this ahead
time, because once the cherries are done, prompt serving is necessary
the cooked cherries quickly lose their charm.
3. In a medium sauté pan, heat the cherries and their juices over high heat.
Sprinkle with the sugar and shake the pan to keep the cherries moving.
When you begin to smell the juices caramelizing (when the sweet smell deepens to
a thicker, smokier, sweet smell), remove the pan from the
add the Armagnac, and light with a long match if you have an
electric stove. If
you have a gas burner, tilt the pan toward the flame,
holding it away from you
until the alcohol catches. Be careful! Shake
the pan until the flames die, about
1 minute. Spoon evenly over the
dollops of crème fraîche and serve immediately.
[Serving the cherries over vanilla ice cream rather than crème fraîche would
this into one of my all-time favorite desserts: Cherries Jubilee! MG]
“It’s unfortunate that most of us don’t have the luxury of crème fraîche in the
United States. This is a permissible substitute, though it lacks some of the
of real crème fraîche. Keep it in the refrigerator, alongside staples like
juice - they both have a refrigerator life of about two weeks.”
Makes about 2
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
In a plastic container (with a cover), stir together the cream
and buttermilk, and let the container sit out at room temperature on the
counter, covered, for 24 hours. Stir once more and refrigerate. The mixture will
take on a slightly sour flavor, thought not as strong as sour cream, and will
remain rich and creamy, thickening as it ages. It you let it go too long, you
end up with cheese. When this happens, you can mix it with
and pepper, spread it in toast, and broil it.
Click for another take on Crème
Life is just a bowl of cherries
Featured Archive Recipes:
Bing Cherries Preserved in Port
Black Forest Cherry Cake
Charlie Trotter's Bing Cherry Sorbet
Charlie Trotter's Chocolate-Bing Cherry
Cake with Bing Cherry Sauce
Cherry Cake Chateau Lake Louise
Cherry Cheesecake with
Chocolate Almond Crust
Cherry and Chocolate Brownie Torte
Cherry and Ganache Tart
in a Spiced Nut Crust
Cherry and Peach Cobbler
Cherry Pie, Michele's
Cherry Buttermilk Pie, Nalle's
Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream
Daniel Boulud's Arroz con Leche with
Sangria Figs and Cherries
Daniel Boulud's Milk Chocolate and
Emeril's Lattice Top Cherry Cobbler
François Payard's Spiced Cherry Soup
Sweet Cherry Clafouti from New York's Vong
Whole Wheat Yogurt Pancakes with Sweet
Cherries in Pomegranate Syrup
Index - Fruit Recipe Archives
Index - Miscellaneous Dessert Recipes
Summer Holiday Recipes!
Daily Recipe Index
Recipe Archives Index