Whether it’s in a chutney, a pie or an Old Fashioned, you can’t go wrong with a nice ripe California Cherry. And we’re right in the middle of the short, six week season when cherries are at their best. Cookbook author and food writer Elaine Corn has no shortage of recipes involving the sweet little fruit. She joins us with a recipe for cherry clafoutis and some tips on preserving the summer bounty.
COLD CHERRY SOUP
By ELAINE CORN
This soup comes straight from my family’s Eastern European background. Very popular in the Baltic countries and what is now Ukraine, cold cherry soup with sour cream mixed in starts a meal on the cusp of summer with a refreshing start.
Usually tart cherries are used, but California is not known for these. Here, Bing is king. To create the tart balance, I’ve added lemon juice. The cherries and red wine provide the beautiful purple cherry color.
2 pounds (about 2 cups) fresh pitted cherries
3 cups water
1 cup red wine (use one with deep color)
½ cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup sugar
Into a stainless steel pot, combine all the ingredients. Set over medium heat and bring slowly to a boil. At the boil, cover partially and continue to simmer 30 minutes. Cool in the pot, covered.
With a slotted spoon, scoop out half the cherries (I deliberately looked for broken ones first) and puree them in a blender or food processor. Add the puree back to the soup, stirring gently. Store the soup in the refrigerator until very cold.
Makes 8 appetizer servings.