Posted by: edibleplanet | March 27, 2010

Cooking with sour cherries

Sour cherries are not very well known to Kiwi cooks. We like sweet cherries, of course. Particularly the juicy Marlborough ones (our family Christmas dinners aren’t complete without a big bowl of them), but sour cherries?

Sour cherries, also called Morello cherries are a very typical Eastern European ingredient. In Hungary they are regarded as something of a national treasure, and I can see why. They are undeniably cherries but with a tart, almost gooseberry quality. They are a cherry for adults to enjoy and they are very refreshing on a hot day.

We made a sour cherry cake which is basically a sponge with sour cherries embedded in it. It is real Hungarian comfort food, and completely delicious!

A bit more challenging to Kiwi palates is the chilled sour cherry soup. I know, I know. It’s weird piled on top of weird. A soup made of fruit and then served cold? But it works! Think more dessert than appetiser, but served at lunchtime on a hot day it would be pretty close to perfect. It’s not too sweet and spicy with cinnamon and vanilla. The tartness of the cherries makes it wonderfully refreshing. When we offered tasting of this soup in our shop we were met with quizzical glances. Once tried though most people found that they really liked it. We gave away lots of copies of the recipe. You could modify it in lots of ways. More or less sour cream, a dash of rum or brandy, thicker or thinner, leave out the lemon (or add more), skip the vanilla.

Sour cherries fill a similar niche in Eastern Europe to the gooseberry in Western European cooking, and I think you could easily adapt gooseberry recipes into amazing sour cherry recipes. Morello fool anyone?

— Karl



  1. a very nice post!

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