Un…deux…trois…Whenever I start eating cherries, I cannot stop.
I am really fond of the fruit.
I love to keep a few cherry pits in my mouth while I go on with my daily activities, and I even forget about them until I decide I need to eat or drink more.
For my entire French family, cherries are really special too.
My grandparents and parents have always owned cherry trees at the back of their houses. Each spring, we enjoyed conversations to guess how good the season would turn, awaiting when the fruit would become ripe.
“Ton père est dans l’arbre entrain de cueillir des cerises,” (Your father is picking cherries in the tree) my mum said a few days ago when I called to ask how they were.
“Je ne sais plus quoi en faire tellement il y en a cette année,” (There are so many this year that I don’t know what to do with them anymore) my father later added.
This year, everyone back home says it happened very early.
With us, cherries would go in jams and tarts; clafoutis and cakes; ice creams and preserves.
My grandmother always liked to poach cherries in syrup. She’d add the fruit to tall glass containers that she’d sterilize attentively. They were what she’d decide to take out of the pantry and serve for dessert with crème fouettée (whipped cream), should unexpected guests stay for dinner. Then, she always gave my mother a few of the preserved fruit, and I remember that we loved to have them when cherry season was over. When we were lucky, they’d last until the next season started.
Even if to me, the best way to enjoy cherries is to gulp them down one after the other while continuing with my day, I also enjoy to use them in sweet or savory dishes.
This recipe is another summery soup, refreshing and light, that highlights the beauty of the fruit.
With accents of vanilla, ginger and lime, I know it’s certainly not the kind my grand-mother would have made since ginger would have been a foreign ingredient to her.
I kept thinking about how recipes evolve. With time, and generations.
I keep thinking how special it is to initiate Lulu to the taste of the soup (there’s some work ahead…) And about how much I wished I could have prepared it for my grandmother if she were still alive.
Maybe she would have liked the taste of Rainier cherries too.
- 1 pound Rainier cherries, pitted
- Plain yogurt or vanilla ice-cream, to serve
For the syrup:
- 1.5 cups water
- 1/3 cup (80 g) blond cane sugar
- 1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and diced
- 1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- Combine all the syrup ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer, making sure the sugar is dissolved. Stop the heat, cover and let infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and transfer the syurp to a blender to puree. Strain through a chinois to remove the seeds and transfer to the pot again with the pieces of vanilla bean you previously removed. Reheat.
- Poach the cherries for 5 to 8 minutes in the warm syrup. Let the cherries cool in the syrup before putting in the fridge. Serve with plain yogurt or vanilla ice cream. But the soup is also delicious on its own.