I love cherries but hate cherry cake. Nearly always made with horrid glacé cherries and with an amaretto after-taste I can’t think of anything worse. But I do love fresh cherries and guess what? Cherries are currently in season and I’m in the mood for something sweet so I thought I’d have a go at making a fresh version with added lemon drizzle – because who doesn’t love a lemon drizzle? This cake is sweet, fruity and perfect for yet another wet July afternoon – seriously what is up with the weather? I’m wearing a wooly jumper!
Fresh Cherry & lemon drizzle
Serves 8-10 / Hands on time 25 min / Total time 1hr 30 mins + cooling / V
You’ll need: 20cm cake tin, tin foil, electric hand whisk, cherry pitter (optional)
250g pitted fresh cherries
225g caster sugar
115g unsalted butter + extra for greasing
140ml semi-skimmed or whole milk
½ tsp vanilla essence
185g plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
85g caster sugar
1. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4. Grease the cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper. Put to one side.
2. Pit and de-stork the fresh cherries. If you have a cherry pitter (lucky you) keep the cherries whole. If you don’t (like me) you can click here to watch a very smug man pit cherries using a chopstick and bottle – which is what I’ll do next time. However, I didn’t know this at the time, so I used a sharp knife to cut the cherry all the way around from top to bottom, then twist the two halves apart in opposite directions – like you would with an avocado. If the cherry pit doesn’t pull away neatly from one half (mine didn’t) just roughly cut around the stone. You’ll be left with a mixture of cherry halves and smaller chopped cherry pieces which is fine.
3. Put the butter and the milk in a small saucepan over a low heat until the butter has melted. Once melted take off the heat to cool slightly.
4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and the caster sugar for at least 2 mins until you have a very pale, creamy mixture and the whisk leaves a trail behind it.
5. Add the vanilla essence and the melted butter and milk slowly to the egg mixture and mix well with the electric whisk until combined.
6. Measure out the flour and the baking powder in a seperate bowl before sieving over the top. Fold in with a wooden spoon until just combined with minimal lumps – be careful not to overwork the mixture.
7. Pour into your cake tin (the mixture will be quite runny) and sprinkle all the cherries over on top – don’t worry, they will sink durning baking.
8. Bake in the oven for 35 mins. At this stage the cake will have formed a crust on the top. Carefully top the cake with a loose sheet of foil whilst still in the oven and continue to bake for a further 25-30 mins or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 30 mins Meanwhile, make the drizzle by combining the juice of one lemon and the caster sugar. Turn the cake out, prick all over with a skewer and evenly pour over the drizzle whilst still warm. Leave to set and cool fully before serving. This cake will last up to 5 days wrapped up in the fridge.
If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.
V – Vegetarian