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Picota Cherry Confitures

Picota cherries are underrated and often chosen to sell as a "value" option because they are smaller, uglier and without stalks. But I do enjoy these firm cherries with big stones from the Jerte Valley in Extremadura in Spain because are always perfectly ripe, juicy and extremely sweet. They make an ideal clafoutis, fantastic summer soups, great gazpacho, crumbles, pies, amazing jams and confitures. When these summer berries are in season - only 6 weeks of the year, I make Picota Cherries Confitures which have a beautiful burgundy colour and sweet flavour with a hint of bitterness. They are delicious and can be a perfect substitute for the strawberry jam at the afternoon tea. Find the recipe here…

Bitter - sweet Orange Marmalade

Seville oranges are perfect for marmalade because are rich in pectin and very aromatic. Thick skinned, sour like a lemon with a high level of bitterness fruits are grown in Seville and Malaga in southern Spain and available in the UK only for a few weeks in a year - from mid-January to February. I read they are currently harvested in Spain from November onwards so maybe you can spot them somewhere before Christmas.  I usually use the oranges which are close at hand now - Navellina or Navel are most common in shops. But whichever oranges you choose, homemade marmalade made from fresh fruits is always a treat. Find the recipe here...