Sour Cherries with Cream and Amaretti

We very rarely have desserts, if we are going to eat more than one course then both of us much prefer a good savoury starter and main course . Sometimes, though, when the evening is hot, the birds are singing and we are eating out in the garden, a light supper and a simple dessert is exactly what is required.

Yesterday was just such a day, but having been shopping in the morning with no thought of making a dessert I was forced to look in the pantry and see what I could put together from the ingredients to hand. The result was a spectacular success – sharp cherries with a hit of kirsch set against pillowy cream with crushed amaretti biscuits and toasted flaked almonds to give texture and crunch. Both of us said we wouldn’t be able to eat all of it, we both set our desserts aside long before we had finished – and we both had sneaky extra spoonfuls over the next half-hour until everything had been polished off.

I might make desserts a little more often if this is the result…


RECIPE – for 2 people

1 450g jar of sour cherries in syrup

1 tbsp cornflour

2 tbsp kirsch

250ml double cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g amaretti biscuits, lightly crushed

a small handful of flaked almonds, lightly toasted


Drain the cherries, reserving the syrup. Pour the syrup into a saucepan, bring to the boil and cook, boiling, for 5 minutes or so. Remove a couple of tablespoons of the syrup from the pan and blend with the cornflour until it is a smooth paste. Stir the cherries into the pan and bring back to the boil.

Turn off the heat, pour the cornflour paste into the pan and stir until thoroughly mixed. Return to the heat and bring back to the boil, stirring all the time. Add the kirsch, bring back to the boil again and cook for 2 minutes so all the alcohol evaporates. Remove from the heat, set aside and allow it to cool completely.

Lightly toast the flaked almonds in a saucepan (not a non-stick pan) until just brown, then tip out onto a plate to cool.

Whip the cream and vanilla together until soft peaks, then put a layer of cherries and syrup at the bottom of two large wine glasses. Now add a layer of cream, then a layer of crushed amaretti biscuits, followed by further layers of cherries and cream. Top with a thin layer of amaretti biscuits and a sprinkle of toasted flaked almonds.

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