I never feel I’ve made the best use of summer fruits. No matter how many stone fruit or berries I eat, cook with or freeze, I feel that I could have done more. This year’s been no exception, especially since I was a little out of commission during the best weeks for berries. I did manage to roast cherries though. I’m going to be doing it again before they disappear for another year.
Roasting fruit brings out the sugars and deepens the flavour, without turning it into mush. It’s also a good way to use fruit that’s just past its peak. Mostly, though, it’s just good. I’ve used it in yogurt, over ice cream, and just right out of the jar. My next plan is to use it as a tart filling, perhaps with custard. If I were the sort of person to make cocktails, the syrup would make a great addition. I suppose you could also stir it into soda water. Something like this salad would be really lovely, too.
I whisked together equal parts of maple syrup and olive oil, with a little bit of sea salt. I then added about a 1/8 tsp. nutmeg and four shredded basil leaves. I tossed the cherries in this and then roasted them at 450° for ten minutes, then added a couple of tablespoons of cognac and put them back in for another five minutes. After they’d cooled, I removed the pits. The cherries keep for a few days in the fridge and freeze well. Slow-roasting is another great method for these, too.
I’m sort of curious to see what would happen if instead of basil and nutmeg, I used a little bit of cocoa powder. Maybe I’d leave the nutmeg in. I’d love to hear your ideas for other flavours that would work well with these, or your experiments with roasting other kinds of fruit.