Our garden is dominated by a huge, ancient cherry tree that I suspect may be older than the house. Our house was built in around 1894, and we know that the part of East London where we live used to be an area full of fruit nurseries before the railway came and it was filled with housing. An old map I have from 1888 shows lots of little glass frame shapes – indicating garden nurseries.
The map above is taken from this website which is where I bought my own paper copy of the 1888 East London map.
Each year the tree treats us to an overwhelmingly romantic display of cherry blossom in April.
And then at the start of June come the cherries.
The local starlings and pigeons eat most of them, because the tree is too high for us to be able to pick them easily. This year, C managed to climb scarily near the top and do some fruit picking for me, before my nervousness about old boughs snapping and broken necks made me beg him to climb down.
Strangely, however many we pick, there only ever seem to be enough for one cherry-themed dish.
In previous years I have made a clafoutis, but having tried blackcurrant clafoutis for the first time last year I think I now much prefer that to the more traditional cherry one. So yesterday I made apple and cherry crumbles instead – in individual ramekins so that I could freeze some for a treat long after the cherries have gone. They were delicious. I wonder what the cherries used to be made into back in 1888?