Life is just a bowl of cherries. For the next two months, anyway.

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Image: What's in season? Cherries

Juan Antonio Capó Alonso / CC BY-SA 2.0 / adapted / Flickr: juan-antonio-capo

Like the 'It' girl of the summer fruit world, cherries are pricey, glossy and only around for a short time. It's also virtually impossible to talk about them without descending into innuendo. 

 

Despite their naughty reputation, they work beautifully in lots of savoury dishes as well as the usual sweet suspects. They're at their best in July, so bag a bag while you can and have fun baking, stewing, steeping and grilling them to perfection – eating them fresh as you go, obviously.

 

Look for cherries that are plump, firm and unblemished, and store them in the fridge or somewhere cool. Depending on the variety, cherries can range from nectar-sweet to delightfully sour – and the sour ones are also delicious dried in savoury Middle Eastern dishes, like the raisin's more elegant cousin.

 

Pucker up!

 

Black forest gâteau

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If looking at Call Me Cupcake's black forest gâteau recipe isn't enough incentive to make one (and it is), try saying 'Schwarzwälder kirschtorte' a few times fast. Endless merry cherry fun. 

 

Duck tacos with chipotle cherry salsa

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Duck a l'wrong? Don't be so sure! Cherries work beautifully with the gamey flavour of duck, and they don't have the tinge of retro naffness either – especially not when you use them in a recipe like Closet Cooking's smoky salsa, duck and goat's cheese tacos

 

Gluten-free cherry clafoutis

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Is it a pie? Is it a pancake? It's neither, and both! Cherry clafoutis is that wonderful thing - a pudding that looks mega impressive but is so quick and easy to make that you could almost have it for breakfast (you should have it for breakfast). Tartelette's cherry clafoutis recipe is gluten-free to boot. 

 

Cherry bakewell toastie

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Bakewell tart is a slice of British history – but combining the almond and cherry flavours in a truly gooey toastie? Well, that's brand new. Kitchen Sanctuary, you're a culinary pioneer.

 

Grilled cherry milkshake

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As with most fruit, cooking them really brings out the sweet, distinctive cherryness of cherries. So while firing up the grill doesn't feel like the most obvious way to make a milkshake, this vegan recipe for cherry milkshake from Edible Perspective will give you next-level flavour.

 

Persian sour cherry chicken stew

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A whole different kind of sweet 'n' sour to get your chops round, this fragrant Persian khoresh (stew) by Violets and Cardamom combines cherries and chicken thighs for a rich, tangy summer supper. 

 

Cherry pie

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You didn't think we'd forget cherry pie, did you? So classically American that it almost sings the Star Spangled Banner in your mouth, this union of crisp, sugary pastry and tangy compote is cherry-loving 101, y'all. But don't worry Eat, Little Bird's cherry pie recipe is all in good old metric.