Recipes to celebrate the cherry season
Cherry season in the UK and Spain runs from June until July.
Picota is an exclusive product - grown in Spain’s Jerte Valley - that is distinguished by its flavour and sweetness. They are dark red in colour and have a more fleshy, crunchier texture than other cherries.
The Picota is sold without stalks as the stalk is left on the tree when carefully harvested by hand. It also has a unique shape of the fruit itself. Unlike other cherries, which is round, this variety develops a natural point, hence the name Picota (pico is Spanish for peak, or point).
These recipes have been created by Kerstin Rodgers aka Ms Marmite Lover.
Spanish Picota Cherry Salsa with Baked White Fish
Kerstin said: “The Russians have a recipe for sour cherry sauce with sturgeon. The contrast of the white fish with the crimson fruit is stunning. Here I've used Spanish Picota cherries to make a salsa, it works so well as a contrasting flavour. The key to a good salsa is chopping. Take your time to finely slice the ingredients, it will look attractive and the flavours will be balanced. Each mouthful should contain a little of each ingredient.”
For the cherry salsa:
100 g Spanish Picota cherries, pitted and finely chopped
2 limes, juice of 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
1/2 red onion, finely sliced handful fresh dill or coriander
1 tbsp sea salt
For the fish:
2 plaice or haddock filets
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and pepper, freshly ground
For the cherry salsa:
1 Pit and chop the Picota cherries, adding them to a bowl
2 Squeeze the fresh lime juice into the bowl
3 Add the red onion and green chilli
4 Add the dill and or coriander
5 Add the salt
6 Place in the fridge until the fish is ready
For the fish:
7 Preheat the oven to 200oC
8 Wash the fish filets and dab dry with kitchen paper
9 Put baking parchment on a flat baking tin
10 Lay down the fish filets, tucking the lemon slices underneath
11 Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil
12 Place the tray on the top shelf of the oven and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filets.
13 Remove from the oven and put a generous spoonful of the Picota cherry salsa on each filet.
14 Serve hot or lukewarm
Cherry and rose gelato
Kerstin said: “The combination of cherry and rose flavours works so well in this gelato recipe. What is the difference between ice cream and gelato? Ice cream is made with eggs, essentially it's a frozen custard, whereas gelato is thickened with cornflour. Make sure you 'cook out' the cornflour. I piled cherries on top as well as in the ice cream, mimicking those extravagant Italian displays in ice cream parlours, where they display the flavours with the fresh ingredients.”
250 g cherries, pitted, chopped
150 g caster sugar
20 g cornflour
Pinch of sea salt
200 ml whole milk
400 ml sour cream
1 tbsp rosewater
Extra cherries to decorate
1 Put the sugar, cornflour, salt and 2 tablespoons of the milk, into a small pan over a low heat. Whisk the mixture together as you warm it, then add the rest of the milk.
2 Continue to whisk until it thickens. The mixture will become translucent, meaning that the cornflour has cooked through properly.
3 Remove from heat and add the hot liquid to the sour cream. Add the rose water and the Picota cherries. Leave to cool, then add to your ice cream maker and churn for 90 minutes.
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