Having lived in the UK all my life, it is so nice to come to a country where different fruits are abundant and even better when they are in my own garden!
Auvillar and this area of the Midi Pyrenees is renouned for its fruit production.
You can buy anything from figs, to peaches, apricots, kiwi, apples, plums, strawberries and fantastic cherries all grown locally and everything tastes so much better when ripened on the tree or bush.
Since moving here in April the garden has come to life, we have discovered that we have grape vines, plums, figs, strawberries, pears and 4 cherry trees, and I will soon be planting others including a mulberry bush.
Strawberries have almost peaked now, but the cherries are fab. One tree is a wild cherry and is loaded with quite sour red cherries, I am told by the locals you can make jam with them but you need lots of sugar, I might just leave them for the birds this year.
The other trees however, are producing the best black cherries I have ever seen. We have to date picked over 15kg and probably eaten over 5kg. I know I have eaten alot as I have had to pay frequent visits to the little girls room! Having sat for hours de-pipping them before freezing to use later, I decided to try and be a domestic goddess and make some jam.
Having never made jam before and not following any recipe(me all over!)I thought I would have a go and set about boiling 2kg of cherries with sugar (not measured), lemon rind and a cinnamon stick, I then added an undetermined amount of Arrowroot to the mixture to thicken and let it cool.
Wow, I am a domestic goddess it worked! The result is fab and you can really taste the cinnamon too. I have had the thumbs up from my friend Natalie who lives in the village and I will deffinitely be serving it to my Chambre d'hotes guests as part of their breakfast together with home made scones and a dollup of cream, if they think their waistline can take it!