Cherries belong to the same botanical family as plums, peaches, almonds and apricots; Turkey is the world's largest producer; in Japan cherry trees are prized for their blossom, but these varieties are sterile and do not produce fruit.
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.
Made in moments, this trifle is a real treat for chocolate lovers. And even complete beginners can make this, as all it involves is a quick trawl round the supermarket and an assembly job.
A 1960s' revival here which looks impressive but is actually very easy to make - Delia has a foolproof way of rolling the flour-free roulade and the chocolate curls are child's play.
Port, dried cherries, sugar and vinegar combine to make the most wonderful sauce that's perfect with duck and other game.
You can, of course, make this in one large baking dish but the puddings look really pretty presented in individual dishes, particularly when entertaining.
Previously, I have made these with mascarpone, but this low-fat alternative is, I feel, every bit as good as the rich version and the perfect accompaniment to any fruit compote. I like this best made with leaf gelatine, but I've also included instruc