So. The cherry tree in the garden is in its third year of producing fruit. The previous years have resulted in mountains of cherries, that were just too sharp / tart / sour to eat straight from the tree. Very disappointing.
Someone told me that it takes three years for a cherry tree to produce sweet fruit, therefore I had my fingers crossed for this year.
Having created a substantial sized cage of netting to keep the little – and not so little – birdies off them, there is once again an abundance of fruit – deep, dark, plump, juicy cherries. Much deeper in colour and juicier than the previous years. Things were looking good.
In a manner similar to that seen on the assault course on The Krypton Factor, I scrabbled my way through the netting and into the cherry enclosure, pot in hand. I picked a cherry. And I ate it.
Then I did some homework. Homework that should maybe have been done before purchasing this particular variety of cherry tree.
Because it is a Morello Cherry tree, and morello cherries are a sour variety. Doh! They will never be sweet. Although I have to say that this year they are not as tart as before and they are much darker in colour, as they should be, so I think the tree has ‘matured’.
On the plus side, it will – hopefully – stop me banging on about how sour they are every year! All I need to do now is find recipes that call for cooked and sweetened cherries.
So I’m starting with this.
It is a very simple syrup that gets diluted with sparkling water to provide a delicious drink that is not too sweet. Once you have removed the stones from the cherries – which I find strangely satisfying because it looks like there has been a massacre – the syrup itself only takes 7 minutes or so to make and then you just have to let it cool.
Then just sit, sip and relax.
Cherry Vanilla Soda
- 2 cups of cherries, stones removed
- juice of 1 lime (3 tbsp approx.)
- 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- sparkling water and ice to serve
- Place the cherries, lime juice and sugar in small saucepan over a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat so that the mixture simmers.
- Cook for around 5 minutes, or until the cherries have broken down and can easily be squashed against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Strain into a small bowl, mashing the pulp with a wooden spoon to remove as much juice as possible. Discard the pulp.
- Stir the vanilla extract into the syrup and leave to cool to room temperature.
- Transfer the syrup to a small air-tight bottle and store in the fridge.
- To make the soda – use 2 – 3 tbsp syrup per glass. Add ice and dilute with the sparkling water.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2015