Cherry-picking in Ceres and a Cherry, almond bar recipe

Almond, cherry bars

Cherry season is upon us and I just love sweet, juicy cherries. We had a fun day out at Klondyke Cherry farm near Ceres. They are closed for now but there are so many farms that have picking days. I will try to do a blog post about fruit picking soon.

We had so many cherries and also bought 5 kg, so I wanted to come up with a recipe to use them, not that we would have had a problem to eat them all.

Thank goodness my sister in law has a stocked pantry and did not mind me experimenting with this recipe.

It was so much fun for the kids and they really picked with gusto, especially my son. He needed reminders not to pick unripe cherries and just kept loading his bucket. Fruit picking at local farms is a great way of buying in bulk and freezing fruit. It is also a great deal cheaper to buy directly from a farmer. Just remember to wear closed shoes, there were some nasty ‘dubbeltjies’ thorns in the orchards.

Like always I reduced the sugar significantly in the recipe but you could also use a sugar replacer and gluten-free flour. This is not a quick recipe, but if you love to spend time in the kitchen you will enjoy the end product very much.

Cherry and almond bars

Ingredients:

Simple Cherry jam

500g cherries {washed, stoned and cut in halve}

200g strawberries {this was just to brighten the colour of the jam}

100g sugar

juice of 1 lemon

5 ml almond essence

Dough

600g cake flour or gluten-free flour

250g butter

140g sugar

10ml baking powder

2ml salt

2 eggs

50ml water

5-10ml almond essence

zest of one lemon

100g flaked almonds

Method:

  • Add chopped cherries, strawberries, and sugar to a saucepan. Boil for about 45 minutes until the sugar has melted and jam has thickened. Stir occasionally. Add the lemon juice and almond essence at the end. Take off the heat and leave to cool down until thickened.
  • Preheat oven to 180’C and grease a large baking tray with baking paper and oil.
  • Make the dough while the jam is cooking. If you use a food processor it will save a lot of time.
  • Add flour to the food processor and add the cubed butter, blend until crumbly. Alternatively, rub in with fingertips.
  • Add sugar, lemon zest, salt, and baking powder and mix again.
  • Crack eggs in a bowl, add water and almond essence.
  • Add to flour and mix until a dough forms.
  • Work dough a little more to make sure it is mixed properly. Halve the dough. One halve is for the base and the other half can be kept in the fridge and will be grated on top of the jam.
  • Press halve of the dough into a thin layer into the baking tray. Bake for about 10 minutes in the oven to cook the dough.
  • Let it cool down, spread the cooled jerry jam on top of the baked dough.
  • Now grate the other half of the dough on top of the jam and sprinkle with flaked almonds. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown and cooked.
  • Cooldown and cut into bars, store in an airtight container.

About Ankie Niesing

Hi, I'm Ankie! Welcome to Wooden Spoon Kitchen, my pantry of life, love and health where we constantly stir laughter, learning, eating and cooking together!

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