I remember baskets of Kentish cherries, ripe and red, or ‘whites’, which were actually pale and creamy with a rosy blush. These have the finest flavour of all cherries and there are still Kentish growers.
Because English cherries are in short supply, however, I am grateful to other European countries and the US for sending us a plentiful stock throughout the summer. They are expensive because cherries are laborious to hand pick, but because the season is relatively short I always make the most of it and seem to eat them practically every day.
What we buy mostly are dessert cherries, but sour cherries, called morello, are brilliant for cooking – they have a wonderful, quite unique, concentrated cherry flavour. Because there’s a very short supply, we only seem to be able to buy the dried here, but bottled ones can be good and morello cherry jam is superb, both spread on bread and scones and in a sauce to serve with duck.
I have lately discovered that dessert cherries cooked with wine and wine vinegar also make a superb sauce for duck or gammon, so I would serve this in the summer, and then in the winter months make it with dried sour cherries.
Dried cherries are readily available these days and are used in Kaiserchmarrn.
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