If you know any Tasmanians, you will know that Summer is an incredibly busy time for them, as they harvest and preserve the many wonders in their gardens. Hubby and I keep saying that they are a special breed these southern kin; full of arcane skills and knowledge:=) And usually multi-talented, as they happily mountain-climb, play music, bake, hike trails, scuba-dive, fish, write books, all while picking fruit and veg. from their organic, seaweed covered garden beds.
I have long loved The Complete Middle East Cookbook by Tess Mallos, from which this recipe comes. I have made many a recipe from it, and there are still heaps for me to try. This (obviously) is one of her Israeli recipes, which you can eat as a starter or for dessert. I served it at the start of a summery evening meal, followed by salads and fruit. This is a useful recipe for that cherry bounty, if you are lucky enough to have a magical tree.
1 kg. cherries, pitted
625mLs (2.5 cups) water
100g. (1/2 cup) white sugar or to taste
2-3 pieces of lemon rind (not zest)
1 piece of cinnamon bark
1/4 tsp ground ginger (optional)
1 cup (250mLs) dry red wine - I used a Tasmanian pinot noir
1 tbs arrowroot, OR potato OR corn flour
2 tsp lemon juice
sour cream to serve
a few grinds of black pepper, to serve
First pit your cherries (as Mrs. Beeton might have said)
Put into a large saucepan with the water, half the sugar (50g.), the lemon rind and cinnamon bark
Bring to a gentle boil
Cover and simmer gently till soft - about 15 mins.
Scoop out the rind and cinnamon bark
Press thru a sieve or blitz in a blender - the author suggests the sieve method is best for colour and texture
Tip the cherry purée back into the saucepan
Whisk in the ginger
Stir the flour into the wine till mixed to a smooth paste
Add to the soup, and stir constantly while it thickens over heat
Add the other 50g. of sugar if desired, plus the lemon juice
Let it cool, then place in the fridge for a few hours to chill
Serve with a dollop of sour cream
The recipe calls for half a cup of white sugar. If you hunt up the grammage (I know, not the right word exactly), you get 211.3g. in an Aussie cup. Though others suggest it should be 200g. And caster sugar is 237g. per cup! I suggest you just assume a cup of regular white sugar is 200g.
I think rice flour would do the trick here too; any very fine flour could be used
Dare I say you could use frozen cherries? Yep I do dare. 'Cos pitting these by hand left me a purply-fingered monster
Ah, come on! You know I blitzed it. Who the heck has time to sieve cherries? Not this little black duck.
|gather your ingredients|
|tip in the sugar and add the lemon rind and cinnamon bark|
|stir together and bring to the simmer|
|and simmer for 15 minutes till soft|
|simmered till soft; ready for blitzing|
|make the winey slurry by mixing a bit of wine with the flour|
|simmered and blitzed to a smooth soupy perfection|
|Miss PP holding up her soup|
Miss PP came for dinner, and was the hand model for the soup entree. Mr P. said it was fabulous! Yep not bad for a summer's night. I just did a bit more research on this soup, and discovered it is a very popular Hungarian dish. Perhaps carried to Israel by European migrants?
|my cherry doodle|