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Cherries galore

Ripe wild cherries

Wild cherries, that is.

There are 2 main places where productive wild cherry trees grow. One is by the ‘blue pig’ water tank.

The other is in the dell behind the house where there’s a thicket of them. The bright fruits dangling off the slender branches look like a depiction of paradise.

Going into the dell isn’t paradise, though. It’s a hot-bed of aggressive and determined horseflies. I go down there liberally coated with insect repellent and wearing a headscarf to stop them going in my ears. I return with at least one bite per square inch of exposed flesh.

Wild cherries have attitude. Their juice turns your fingers crimson when you handle them and their flavour is pronounced. They are very good to cook with and turn everything pink.

Picked cherries

Stoned cherries

Cherry and almond cake!

The recipe below makes roughly 3 of these cakes.  Clive is the cook in the family – I just eat it.

Clive’s recipe for wild cherry and almond cake

400g Plain flour *
250ml Sunflower oil *
300g Sugar *
400g Fresh cherries of which about 100ml is juice
50g Almonds
1tbsp Bicarbonate of soda *
1tbsp Baking powder *
1 heaped tsp Salt *
3 Eggs *
Butter (to grease)
Put all the starred ingredients into a bowl, add cherry juice (but not cherries) and mix thoroughly.
Grease baking dish with butter
Stir cherries into mix
Pour mix into greased tin
Top with almonds
Bake in the centre of a very cool oven (180C or less) for 30 to 45 minutes

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