Cherries with Friends – How to Make Chriesitschope

I made a Chriesitschope, isn’t this a glorious Swiss word, it essentially is a cherry cake and translated into English means Cherry Jacket. Now there’s hundreds of ways of making Chriesitschopes apparently, which is why here I give you my own version. And this is how it came about that I made a Chriesitschope: 

The other day my neighbour knocked on the front door, making a rather important face, a little conspirational even, and I asked him in so that no one may overhear what dire business he was about to discuss. Would you like some cherries, he asked. Cherries! I said. I love cherries! Listen, he said with a sideway glance, our orchard is full of them, so full you can’t possibly imagine how full it is, and if you’d like some you just go and pick them. You may also come with your friends, he nodded significantly. My father will show you the spot. He turned to leave and I spotted the cigarette he held hidden behind his back as always does, faintly wondering whether it was just a habit of courtesy or whether I somehow reminded him of his late mother or some other said to be straight laced female relative, despite the fact that he has the advantage of a good twenty years’ experience over me. 

And so the adorable father drove me up in his methuselah Lada car, regretting that he didn’t feel like cherry picking anymore, to which I replied that perhaps there’s a certain time for everything in life, even sitting down and enjoying the quiet days instead of going up steep ladders and swinging from branch to branch for cherries. And drive old battered Lada cars along bumpy country lanes, but this I only thought to myself. 

Come Sunday I gathered my friends and off we went to pick cherries in his orchard and brought him a basket home. In my kitchen, we sorted them all, reds from blacks, and made jam and compote and I set some aside to be frozen so that I could make a Chriesitschope. And this is how it goes: 

What you’ll need

Quantities render a small Chriesitschope cake, I used my 17cm diametre mould. Just multiply for larger portions. 

3 egg yolks

3 egg whites, whisked with a pinch of salt to a firm mass suited to pile up a Marie Antoinette coiffure on your head

180g sugar

The content of one half a vanilla bean, scraped

180g butter, cut into cubes

1dl of half cream and half white wine

120g white flour (T45)

240g of cherries with the stones in, stems removed

1dl of fresh cream, whipped with a bit of sugar and a sip of Kirsch, eau de vie made from cherries

How to cook it

Heat the oven to 200°C no fan. Whisk the yolks with the sugar and vanilla scrape until the sugar is fully dissolved and you end up with a creamy foamy mass. Add the butter and stir in until it amalgamises. Continue with carefully mixing the creamwine under and add  the flour. Gently fold in the egg white mass and immediately transfer to a cake mould and add the cherries, gently press in so that they’re just barely covered by batter. Cover with tinfoil, press the rim well. 

Bake for 45 min for a melting heart, 55min for a firm heart, remove the tinfoil and bake the top golden for another 10 min. Let cool in the mould and arrange on a nice tray. 

How to eat it

With a bowl of sweet crème chantilly spiced with Kirsch, enjoy! 

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