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Cherries, for your sweet desserts as well as your savory dishes

The first stone fruit of the summer, the cherry is a fruit that stands out in almost all registers: savory dishes (especially in a cinnamon soup from Eastern Europe, or even pan-fried as an accompaniment to meat), sweet (in essential cakes such as black forest or clafoutis, in jam, ice cream, fruit paste or syrup) or with vinegar (in sweet and sour flavors perfect for charcuterie or game), without forgetting a nice collection of spirits, such as cherry or guignolet.

In eau-de-vie, canned or to taste

Certainly originating in the Caucasus and Asia Minor, the cherry would have arrived in Europe in the trunks of the Roman general Lucullus in the year 73 BC. In France, it is in the Middle Ages that it acquires a good notoriety. . Louis XV, a great lover of cherries, will greatly contribute to the cultivation and development of production, which is distinguished in three main categories.

Sour cherries, such as Morello cherries, are mainly intended for the preparation of brandied cherries. The so-called “English” cherries are used for preserves, jams and liqueurs, while the sweet cherries are those that we harvest in our orchards or buy on the stalls to taste them. The most famous are bigarreaux such as burlats, hearts-of-pigeon or Napoleon. Let us quote, among the French regions which are proud of beautiful varieties, the early cherry of Céret in the Pyrénées-Orientales or the cherry of Ventoux.

Wonders in savory dishes

Raw, cherries go wonderfully with baby spinach, arugula or basil. Complete the picture with mozzarella or feta for a fresh and original summer salad. For savory dishes, dare cherries in the juice around a roast chicken, with a leg of lamb flavored with rosemary. Another combination that has proven itself, that with a duck breast; the cherries are then roasted in the pan for a few moments with star anise and cinnamon, for example.

With fish, the cherry also makes happy marriages. Imagine a tuna tartare with cherries marinated in balsamic vinegar and Timut pepper, or an octopus risotto with tarragon and roasted cherries!

The icing on the cake, this fruit freezes perfectly and will go well with fall or winter dishes, like a cauliflower, cherry and lemon thyme crumble, so stock up !

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The recipes

► Eggplant-mozzarella pastry with cherries

Cherries, for your sweet desserts as well as your savory dishes

For 4 people

2 eggplants
300g cherries
250g ratatouille
200g buffalo mozzarella
3 tbsp. olive oil
8 large basil leaves
30g butter
15 cl of port
Fine salt and ground pepper

With a sharp knife or mandoline, cut long thin slices of eggplant. Drizzle them with olive oil and brown them on both sides. Season them with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

On a square of parchment paper, place a pastry circle 10 cm in diameter, then thin slices of eggplant, making them overflow widely. Garnish the interior with ratatouille and mozzarella, season lightly and fold the eggplant slices towards the center to obtain a plump puck. Remove the pastry ring and place the puck on a non-stick baking sheet. Repeat the operation to make 3 more eggplant palets. Bake them for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a skillet with the butter, sear the cherries over high heat, deglaze with the port. Let caramelize for a few minutes.

Serve the eggplant patties with the pan-fried cherries.

► My mom’s clafoutis

Cherries, for your sweet desserts as well as your savory dishes

For 12 people

3 kg cherries from the garden
300g flour
250g sugar
6 eggs
2 pinches of fleur de sel
20 cl of milk
2 packets of vanilla sugar
20g butter

Rinse the cherries under running cold water and dry them on a cloth. Butter a large baking dish and lightly flour it. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

In a bowl, mix the flour, egg yolks, sugar and salt. Whip the egg whites very stiff and gently fold them into the previous preparation. You get a batter with a texture similar to that of pancakes, a little thicker.

Arrange the cherries without pitting them in the dish, pour the batter and bake for 50 minutes at 200°C. Remove the clafoutis from the oven and sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Leave to cool before enjoying.

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