It’s been so lovely, weather wise, in our neck of the woods, that sometimes it seems surreal. Clear blue skies, with the odd shower in between, opening our eyes in the morning to the dawn chorus, and enjoying the birds’ songs late into the night, with the sun shining way past nine o’clock at night. Yes, we are the loving the weather at the moment.
And the reflection of the great weather can be seen in the faces and spring in the footsteps of the people around us. People, in their bright, summery clothes, cool shades, kids speeding around in their bikes, skateboards, or ‘can’t be bothered’ teenagers just lazing around in the parks. Even the tired walker, resting their limbs on the roadside bench under the shade of the tree has an air of happiness on their faces. There seems to be such a buzz all around. Growing up, in India, where most of the days in the year are sunny,I never thought that I would begin to love summer so much. Then, the autumn and winter months were the times of the year that I really looked forward to.
Summer also brings with it, a great bounty of brightly coloured fruits, tempting one to just pick them up and enjoy. Juicy peaches, strawberries, raspberries, plums and cherries are flooding the markets.
We’ve been enjoying quite a lot of cherries lately…
and some were tossed with some spices and a little sugar and roasted in the oven. Oh! What joy! The smells emanating from the oven, as the fruit bursts and mingles with the spices, and the juices flow is something to be experienced. I had a hard time keeping away from them.
Only the stalks were removed from the cherries before roasting. The roasted cherries are much easier to stone.
The spiced and roasted cherries were used to fill some little pastry cases and dusted with a little sugar for a lovely treat. The best part about this recipe is that everything can be made and assembled in advance before serving a bonus if you are having guests over. The crust is a snap to put together and is nice and crumbly. This would be a great little desert for your summer party.
For the crust-
1C whole wheat flour (atta)
2 tblsp dark muscovado sugar ( or any other dark brown sugar)
2 tblsp cornmeal
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 C of sunflower/vegetable oil
7-8 tblsp of cold milk
For the filling-
400 gms of fresh cherries, the stalks removed
2-3 tblsp of sugar
1 tblsp of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of crushed red chillies
Icing sugar for dusting
- Pre heat the oven at 200 deg C.
- Place the cherries on a baking tray and sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon and chillies over them.
- Place the tray in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 30 minutes or till the fruits are soft, yet retain their shape.
Cool completely. Stone the fruits and keep aside. ( I must warn you that these roasted cherries are very, very addictive )
- In a bowl, add all the ingredients for the crust, except the milk. Rub the ingredients with your fingertips till everything resembles fine crumbs.
- Add the milk and mix together with the fingertips, bringing everything together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Divide the chilled dough into 13-14 equal sized portions. Press each portion into the bottom and sides of the moulds of a mini muffin tray.
- Put the tray in the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Pre heat the oven at 180 deg C. Place the tray in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 16-18 minutes or till golden.
- Cool in the tray for a few seconds and then carefully remove to a rack and cool completely before filling.
- Fill the cases with the roasted cherries ( press the cherries in to the cases) and dust the tops with icing sugar before serving. If you are assembling them in advance, arrange on a tray and store them in the refrigerator.
The juicy fruit and crisp crust were a perfect treat.
Have a great weekend everyone