Wednesday, 1 August 2018

British Cherry Season - Bakewell inspired Cherry and Almond Ice Lollies Recipe

For me, nothing screams 'British Summer' more than a bowl of plump, ripe, juicy red cherries.  Move over strawberries, step aside watermelon, for me Summer is all about the cherries.

Carefree summer drives around the Kent countryside, stopping at roadside stalls to load up on paper bags bursting with magenta red deliciousness. Gleefully shooting the stones from my mouth through the open car window into the verges - now, I don't approve of spitting per se, but legend has it that the origin of most of our wild cherry trees in Britain is from Romans doing this exact same thing from their chariots or marches along the country roads, so I see it as doing my bit to preserve this heritage.

Whether you pick yours up in the local supermarket in a huge crate, or a paper bag from the farmers market, you can be sure with all the different varieties of fresh cherries available you'll be able to find enough to see you through right from June to September. 

What better way to enjoy fresh cherries, and cool off in this exceptional summer heat than making these cherry and almond ice lollies.  Inspired by one of my favourite desserts - Bakewell Tart (which is sadly a very rare treat for me to find since becoming gluten-free), it is the perfect pairing of almond and cherries.

It's gluten free, and can easily be made vegan / dairy-free too.  Have a stash of these in the freezer ready to cool off the kids over the holidays. Made with only a tiny amount of sugar, they are a much healthier alternative than the lollies you buy in the shops.  Did you know that cherries are packed with vitamin C and are a rich source of antioxidants and melatonin which helps healthy sleep patterns?

Ingredients to make approx 6 lollies:

200g ripe cherries (de-stoned)
300 ml almond milk
1 tbsp almond butter (optional, but it does enhance the nutty flavour)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water

To decorate:

100g white chocolate or dairy-free / vegan alternative
100g chopped toasted almonds


Pop the cherries, sugar and water into a saucepan and heat on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the cherries soften and the juices are released.  Set aside to cool.

Toast your almonds lightly in the oven on 180 degrees for approx 10 mins, keeping a careful eye on them so as not to burn.  Blitz in a blender to chop.

Once cool, whizz up the cherry mix with the almond milk (and almond butter if using) in a blender until smooth.

Pour into lolly moulds and freeze.

Once fully frozen, melt the white chocolate and leave to cool for a while.  Remove lollies from moulds, dip into the melted chocolate and then quickly into the chopped nuts.

Lay on greaseproof paper and freeze again for at least 10 minutes before serving.

The crunchy bite of the frozen chocolate and nuts is a delight against the fruity flavour of the ice lolly, just perfect for cooling down after a hot afternoon in the garden!

This post is an entry for the BritMums #lovefreshcherries Challenge, sponsored by Love Fresh Cherries (Instagram: @LoveFreshCherries)