Saturday 20 June 2009

Know your Cherries

Cherries left to right: bigarreau "géant"; bigarreau "Napoléon"; guignesThe coins, left to right: Australian 50 cent; British 10 pence; 1 Euro; US dime

As it rained on Wednesday night we didn't need to water the garden yesterday, but we did go down to the orchard for half an hour to pick cherries.

Totals picked so far this year
guignes 34 kg
géant 1 kg
Napoléon 4 kg

Yesterday Susan made 2kg into jam, 300g into coulis, and stewed a kilogram. I made 2Kg into jam. On Wednesday night Susan made mini clafoutis. We also froze some whole and unprocessed to see what happens.

The little guignes are thin skinned, fragile and sour, with translucent scarlet skins and yellowy flesh. They have a natural spiciness which gives jams and sauces a certain zing. The bigarreaux are large and sweet, with quite tough skin and firm flesh. The Napoléon are by far the best cherry of these three to eat fresh. The Géant look the business, being a rich dark crimson, but they don't have the flavour of the bi-coloured Napoléons. Both the guignes and the Napoléons cook out to a rather pinky red. Adding Géant at the ratio of 1 part to 3 of guignes ensures that the jam comes out a satisfying red-black.

Simon and Susan

PS We remain unwashed, as it seems that the silicone sealant for the shower takes at least 3 days to set.


wcs said...

It's great to see the cherries side by side like that.

And the coins, too. ;)

Jean said...

If someone had said last year that you would soon be learning a lot about cherries AND have tons of them preserved, bottled and frozen, would you have believed them ?

Simon said...

Walt. I always thought cherries was cherries, end of story.

Jean. Don't tell anyone, but I didn't even like cherries a year ago. I think it comes from the flavour of cherry medicine when I was a kid. As for being the lord of cherries, no, it wasn't part of the masterplan.

Paulita said...

I love to have bags of frozen cherries, but we usually pit them first. I use them throughout the year to make cobbler (is that only an American thing?) or cherry syrup for pancakes.

Tim said...

Try preserving them in Brandy [pitted or unpitted]... use nothing stronger than 36%ABV as anything 40 or over destroys the fruit. The weaker brandy allows you to have both a liquer and fruit to go with puddings. Add very little sugar to start with.... not as most recipes give... you can then 'sugar to taste' after you know what the finished result is like.

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