1. Combine sour cherries and water and heat over a low heat until warm. Turn off heat. They will soften quickly, so do not over cook.

2. Remove half the cherries to a bowl and stir in orange peel and cranberries. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl combine remaining cherries and bicarb soda. Stir well and leave for 5 mins.
4. Add butter, stir and leave for 10 mins
Note: It is important to try not to blend mixture too much so if using a stand mixer, have it on a low-speed setting, otherwise use a spoon.
5. Add eggs one at a time, and stir. 
6. Add quatre epice (four spice), brown sugar, flour and mix thoroughly.
7. Gently stir in the sour cherry, orange peel and cranberry mixture using a wooden spoon.
8. Divide the batter into your pudding tins. Bake in bain marie for 40 - 50mins on 170-180 degrees.
9. While the pudding cooks, prepare the syrup by combining all the syrup ingredients in a pot and bringing to a simmer. 
10. Once cooked, pour the syrup over the hot pudding
11. Serve warm or at room temperature with Dessertmakers crème anglaise.

Taste one. Seriously. Failing that try this:

Look for depth of color rather than a particular shade of red. A bright green stem indicates freshness; however, a lack of stem doesn't necessary mean the cherries are low quality.

Cherries should be firm. Wrinkling is not a good sign. 

*Many people think reddish-yellow cherries are not ripe, not so. Rainier cherries, as they are called, are a variety of cherry, naturally less firm than red cherries but just as sweet. 

Stewed Rhubarb

- 3 bunches rhubarb, leaves trimmed
- 150gm caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod (scraped)
- 150mls water or orange juice

1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees
3. Trim the leaves from rhubarb stalks - these are poisonous (see this month’s rhubarb facts) then wash stalks well.
3. Cut off the woody bottom part of rhubarb, about 6cm and cut the remaining into 6cm lengths.
4. Combine all ingredients in a medium pot and cook, occasionally stirring gently, over a low heat.
NOTE: Be gentle when stirring or the rhubarb will go to mush
5. Once rhubarb has softened and turned a bright deep red, remove from heat and set aside to cool.


Constructing the Masterpiece:
1. In a baking dish or fry pan add a thick layer of rhubarb and flatten.
2. Scoop crumble on top, be generous.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown.

Serve with:
With a dollop of Pepe Saya Mascarpone or Crème Fraiche and dust with icing sugar.

When I was a little girl mum worked at Strawberry Hills Post Office. Part of her job was taking morning tea around to the staff on a little trolley and sometimes they served rhubarb and custard tarts.

My mother had never eaten rhubarb, nor had anyone in my family. We had never even seen rhubarb, so when mum brought that first bunch home, I was convinced it was beetroot stalks. I remember worrying about what she was going to cook with beetroot stalks.

Needless to say my whole family grew to love my mother’s rhubarb creations. Treats like Rhubarb Jam, Rhubarb & Orange Compote, Rhubarb Pies, Rhubarb & Rose Water Pudding, Roasted Rhubarb with Yoghurt & Honey, and of course Rhubarb & Custard tarts.

Rhubarb Tips and Tricks:
When buying rhubarb look for thin bright red and crisp stalks. Floppy stalks means the rhubarb was picked a while ago.
Be careful of the leaves, which are mildly poisonous. Do not eat them.

Store rhubarb wrapped in plastic in the fridge for up to 1 week, or slice into smaller pieces and freeze for up to six months.

To cook rhubarb simply stew it or roast it. Because it's so tart, rhubarb is often cooked with a sweetener, and I like to add a stick of cinnamon too.

Try it with: Apples, pears, berries, sugar, honey, ginger, fresh cheeses, yogurt, vanilla, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, ham, duck, trout, salmon, and kale.

Crumble Topping

- 200gm Pepe Saya Cultured Butter (chilled & roughly diced)
- 360gm Plain flour
- 200gm Brown Sugar
- 80gm Shredded Coconut
- 130gm Rolled oats

1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and use your finger tips to combine.
2. Once you have a dry and crumbly texture, the colour of sand, set aside.

Sign up and we’ll send Merna's Recipes to you

Every-week my customers ask me about my favourite dessert recipes (apart from my delicious range of Dessertmakers desserts of course). Now I have created Merna’s Recipes, a collection of sensational seasonal recipes for you to try at home, and trust me, they will knock your socks off! I hope you enjoy xx

1kg - Sour cherries    
200ml - Water     
10g - Bicarb Soda                   
350g - Butter (softened)
10 x Eggs               
1 tsp - Vanilla extract                  
950g - Self Raising Flour          
550g - Brown Sugar    
500g - Orange peel
750g - Cranberries
20g - Quatre epice

280gm - Caster sugar                    
1L - Water
100g - Sour cherry    
3 x Star Anise                   
50g - Orange Peel 
1 x Cinnamon Quill

They are the best ever cherries to eat and bake with. The only problem is once you start eating, it’s nearly impossible to stop.

This recipe for Sour Cherry Pudding is something I created specially for Gourmet Traveller’s annual Christmas hampers. It turned out so darned delicious I just had to make more for my market customers, and now you can make it too.


I love cherries. I grew up making earrings out of joined-up cherries, and having pit-spitting contests with my 5 siblings. 

My parents have an organic cherry orchard in Lebanon, with about 100 trees in it. Their cherries come in deep red, bright red, light red and a yellow/white-ish colour. Each year they get about 1 tonne of cherries!!!! As you can imagine, I have fond memories of picking and eating the fruit straight from the tree. 

Cold storage is key to keeping cherries fresh. Get your cherries in the fridge as soon as possible, preferably wrapped in a plastic bag.

Wash them with cold water just before eating. Avoid washing prior to storage, as moisture can be absorbed where the stem meets the fruit and lead to splits or spoilage.

Cherries can also be frozen. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet, freeze until firm, and then place in a bag or container.


​Handmade in Australia

Note: Sour cherries are rounder, softer, and smaller than sweet cherries, and are best when sweetened and cooked.