Meals and Courses

  • 1.5 kg (3 lb) cherries, pitted
  • 250 g (8 oz) caster sugar
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) water
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 cloves
  • strips of orange peel, to decorate
  • 60 g (2¼ oz) fruit loaf
  • 15 g (¼ oz) unsalted butter
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Put the cherries in a large bowl. Place the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and add the water, vanilla pod, cloves and orange peel. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, then pour the syrup over the cherries. Leave to cool.

Make the crumble. Cut the fruit loaf into 1 cm (½ inch) dice. Melt the butter and drizzle it over the fruit loaf. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over the fruit loaf. Mix well, transfer to a baking sheet and cook in a preheated oven, 190°C (375°F), Gas Mark 5, for 4—5 minutes until golden and crunchy. Remove the crumble from the oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, make the cinnamon cream. Sift the icing sugar over the cream, add the cinnamon and whisk until firm peaks form.

Serve the cherries with a small amount of syrup, a spoonful of the cinnamon cream and a sprinkling of the fruit loaf crumble. Decorate with strips of orange peel.

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