Cherry Recipes; A Very Cherry Valentine’s Day

Friday 12th Feb 2021 |

As we are set to spend Valentine’s Day at home this year, whether it’s galantines, with flatmates, family or your other half – make sure to truly indulge with these tasty recipes that take you from breakfast in bed to a dinner and dessert for two.

These delicious dishes are the perfect way to pamper your loved one or to enjoy with your friends and family (…whatever your situation is!) from Love Fresh Cherries, the UK’s national cherry association, and Masterchef finalist, Giovanna Ryan.

Not only do cherries ooze sexiness, they are also packed with lots of powerful antioxidants… known to help boost performance and recovery faster –  whatever your Valentine’s plans may be… This cherry magical menu!

Cherry Recipes; Buttermilk waffles with cherry sauce, chantilly cream and candied almonds

Cherry Recipes

This is a truly indulgent way to start Valentine’s day. You can make the batter, sauce and the cream in advance so, if you want to treat someone, you can whip this up in a flash!

Ingredients (for 2)

  • 150g flour
  • 60g butter, melted then cooled slightly
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 200g fresh cherries, stoned
  • 50g sugar
  • 150ml double cream
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons caster sugar, divided
  • Handful blanched almonds

Method

Start by making the cherry sauce. Place the cherries in a large saucepan with 50g sugar. Bring to the boil then turn down to a medium simmer. Cook until you have a syrupy sauce that coats the back of a spoon. 

To make the candied almonds, place 4 tablespoons of sugar in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water. Bring to the boil and keep on the heat until the sugar has a syrupy consistency but is’t yet browned. Tip in the almonds and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. The sugar will start to crystalise and stick to the almonds. Remove from the heat as soon as this happens and leave to cool. 

For the waffles, mix together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add the egg, melted butter and buttermilk and whisk vigorously until smooth. Lightly oil a waffle iron and place a ladle of the batter inside. Cook until golden brown on the outside but still fluffy in the middle. Repeat with the rest of the batter. 

Whisk together the vanilla, double cream and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until thick. 

Serve the waffles with a generous dollop of chantilly cream, a big spoonful of cherry sauce and scatter over the almonds to finish. 

Cherry Recipes; Cherry glazed lamb shanks with jewelled rice

Cherry Recipes

This is a gorgeous alternative to more classic Valentine’s Day recipes. It’s packed with flavour and looks beautiful on a plate. It’s surprisingly easy to make but is still an impressive supper for someone special. 

Ingredients (for 2):

  • 2 french trimmed lamb shanks
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 150g fresh cherries, stoned
  • 300ml red wine
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 200g basmati rice
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dill fronds
  • 2 tablespoons dried cherries or cranberries
  • 50g shelled, unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped

Method

Place the flour in a shallow bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Coat the lamb shanks in the flour and dust off any excess. 

Peel and finely slice the garlic and cook gently for two or three minutes in the same pan. Add the lamb shanks back to the pan along with the wine, chicken stock cherries and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil then turn down to a very low simmer. Cook for around two hours with the lid on until the lamb is very soft.

Remove the shanks from the pan and bring the sauce to a boil. Cook for a further 15 minutes until the sauce is thick and shiny. Turn off the heat and put the lamb shanks back in the sauce to glaze. 

Cook the rice with 300ml water and a large pinch of salt with the lid on. Once cooked, stir in the butter, herbs, half the pistachios and the dried cherries. 

Serve the lamb shanks on a bed of the rice. Finish with more sauce and the remaining pistachios. 

Cherry Recipes; Roast aubergine with cherry sauce and jewelled rice

Cherry Recipes

This vegan alternative to the cherry glazed lamb shanks to suit all for a Valentine’s Day dinner. It is just as packed with flavour and beautiful as the above meat option. 

Ingredients (for 2)

  • 2 medium aubergines, cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 150g fresh cherries, stoned
  • 300ml red wine
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 200g basmati rice
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dill fronds
  • 2 tablespoons dried cherries or cranberries
  • 50g shelled, unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped

Method

Peel and finely slice the garlic and cook gently for two or three minutes in olive oil until soft but not too browned. Add the wine, vegetable stock, cinnamon stick and cherries. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down to medium. Cook until the sauce is thick and shiny. 

Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the aubergine quarters on a large baking tray, drizzle generously with olive oil and season with salt. Roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway through, until dark golden brown and crisp on the outside. 

Cook the rice with 300ml water and a large pinch of salt with the lid on. Once cooked, stir in the butter, herbs, half the pistachios and the dried cherries. 

 Serve the aubergine on a bed of the rice and finish with a big spoon of the cherry sauce and the remaining pistachios. 

Cherry Recipes; Cherry chocolate fondants with cherry ripple ice cream

Cherry Recipes

Fondants get a bit of a bad rap. Yes, they’re retro but they’re also delicious. Adding fresh cherries to the centre of the mix adds a surprise when you cut into it and the cold ice cream is a lovely contrast to the hot pudding. 

Ingredients (for 2)

For the fondant:

  • 60g butter, plus extra for the moulds
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 60 dark chocolate
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 8 fresh cherries, stoned and halved
  • For the ice cream:
  • 300ml double cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150g sugar, divided
  • 150g fresh cherries, stoned

Method

Start by making the ice cream. Gently heat the cream in a small saucepan with the vanilla until just boiling. Whisk together 50g of the sugar and the egg yolks until pale and fluffy. Pour the hot cream onto the eggs and whisk until fully combined. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn until frozen. Transfer to a tub and place in the freezer to fully set. 

Place the cherries and remaining sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil then turn down to a medium simmer. Cook until you have a syrupy sauce that coats the back of a spoon. Leave to cool completely then swirl into the ice cream. Place back in the freezer until ready to serve.

To make the fondants, gently melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan. Leave to cool slightly. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale and thick. Whisk in the chocolate mixture, then the flour. Generously butter the inside of two pudding moulds, then dust with cocoa powder. 

Fill the moulds halfway with the mixture, add the cherries, then fill the moulds until ¾ of the way up with the rest. You can cook them immediately or you can place them in the fridge until ready to eat. 

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200C. Place the puddings on a tray and bake for 12 minutes (14 minutes if chilled). Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 30 seconds before turning out onto plates. Serve with a scoop of the ice cream.

Craving some skincare?