Monday, 15 July 2013

Cherry dumpers

Well, I promised you sausages and instead you get cherries! Did you know that tomorrow, 16 July, is National Cherry Day here in the UK? Neither did I until I stumbled across a reference to it recently. Cherries are one of my favourite fruits and I wait eagerly for the summer glut when prices start to fall. 

Amazingly, 95% of the cherries we eat are imported which is not good news for the fruit growing industry in Britain. And which therefore makes me ashamed to admit that my favourites are the sweet picota cherries from Spain: I'll probably be thrown in the Tower of London for treason. However, to celebrate this Day and redeem myself, I'm going to share with you a very traditional recipe for Cherry Dumpers, which originated in Buckinghamshire.

I love traditional recipes and who could resist one with such a great name! They're also known as Bumpers and were usually eaten on Cherry Pie Sunday which is the first Sunday in August. They really couldn't be simpler to make.

You'll need:
Shortcrust pastry (home made using your favourite recipe, or bought)
100% British cherries, pitted
Granulated sugar
Milk or egg to glaze
Caster sugar

Make the pastry and roll out. Use a small plate to cut out circles - the size of plate will depend on how big you like your dumpers. We're pretty greedy when it comes to sweet things so I used an 18cm tea plate.

Pile some cherries in the middle of the circle and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Brush the edge of one half with water using a brush or your finger. Fold over one side to meet the other to make a half circle. You'll probably need less cherries than you think as I had to pop a few of these in my mouth to get the sides to meet! Crimp the edge using a fork and brush with milk or beaten egg. Place on a greased baking tray and pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

Remove when golden and sprinkle with caster sugar whilst still hot. You can serve as they are or with cream or ice cream. I found them a little plain so, if I made them again, I'd probably experiment by using a more buttery pastry or by tossing the fruit in liqueur or cordial, or even in some ground almonds.

If you don't fancy a Dumper, how about celebrating with a different recipe? One of my own favourites is Cherry Eton Mess. In America, you could almost celebrate lovely juicy cherries with a different recipe every month. 17 May 2014 has been declared National Cherry Cobbler Day. Doesn't appeal? Well what about Cherry Tart (18 June)? Or Cherry Cheesecake (23 April)? Or Chocolate-Covered Cherries (3 January)? Or even the August double whammy of Cherry Popsicle (26 August) and Cherry Turnovers (28 August)!

Which one would you choose? Or do you have another favourite? x


  1. I adore cherries! Your recipe looks and sounds so gorgeous, I love the name 'cherry dumpers' too"! Like my dad, I adore cherry pie and I have fond memories of us eating it together in cafe's on family summer holidays...
    Marianne x

  2. I just love cherries (and feel quite guilty about the number of probably-imported ones I've eaten this year!) but tend to eat them fresh rather than cooking with them. I love the sound of this recipe and I think it's about time I cooked with them more. x

  3. Life is indeedy a bowl of cherries round here, I love the summer fruits and the cherries are my absolute favourites. Oh and yes I still hook them over my ears and pretend they are earrings like we did when we were kids ~ Sarah x