It’s cherry picking season here in France. It’s a good year for them. The trees are covered. Even my young, little trees in the garden have produced a bowlful each. And they taste beautiful.

We’ve been gleaning from roadside trees as well and so far have collected three very different sorts of cherries. And this is where I’m starting to get confused. Cherries are cerises in French, but they are often also referred to as griottes. And, to complicate things further, you get cerises griottes too. I’ve done some research and I think these latter are long-stalked cherries, but I’m not 100% sure. And then of course there are merises which are very small, dark, wild cherries. Morellos are the larger, dark cherries. So, I know we have some morellos, but what the other two types are, I’m not certain. One variety is very bright red and sweet, and the other is a more purple red, also deliciously sweet.

3 types of cherries or griottes

But whatever type they are, cherries are a good source of Vitamins A and C and potassium. They also have beta carotene in them, more so in sour cherries. They also contain pectin, so jam making with them is easy, and anthocyanins, which are linked to cancer prevention. And they’re good for your teeth. Cherry juice is good at fight tooth decay as it’s antibacterial. Quite a superfruit in fact.

The Chef in Boots gets home from lycée on Friday night so I’ll set her to rustling up some cherry ice-cream for us. I’m sure she’ll be able to concoct a recipe. Last week she rustled up blackberry ice-cream off the cuff, and it was the nicest ice-cream I have ever had.

I started destoning the morellos today but I quickly lost the will to live, so we’ll be eating those fresh! However, the cerises/griottes/cerise-griottes we harvested today are bigger and firmer and should be easier to process. I have plans for cherry jam (probably David Lebovitz’s recipe) and tarte aux griottes (and in the picture in the recipe book, these look like my bright red cherries). Here’s my version of the recipe for the tarte.


  1. Destone and gently cook 350g of cherries/griottes until they are thick like jam, mixing in 100g of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon.
  2. Line a flan dish with a round of paté brisée (shortcrust pastry) or make your own using 250g flour, 125g icing sugar, 150g melted butter and 1 egg.
  3. Pour the cherry mix into the flan dish. If you like, you can use pastry offcuts to make a grid pattern over them. Cook for 40 mins at 180 degrees C (hot oven).
  4. Serve with cream.