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  • Writer's pictureKa Hana Pono

Recipes Using Surinam Cherries


*For extra assurance that your cake will release easily, you can use silicon bakeware.

Butter-flavored cooking spray 2 tablespoons butter 3/4 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons water or lemon juice 1 1/2 cup Surinam cherries, seeded 1 cup sugar 1 1/2 cups cake flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup butter, softened 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 3/4 cup milk 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with butter-flavored cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter and stir in 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and water or lemon juice. Allow this caramel to come to a boil and pour into prepared cake pan, tilting and rotating to cover the pan’s bottom evenly. In a small bowl, mix together Surinam cherries and sugar. Spoon over caramel in cake pan, leaving a little margin around the edge, as the cherries tend to spread.

In a large bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter, beat in sugar, add eggs and beat on medium until color lightens and mixture is fluffy. Alternately add flour mixture and milk, beating well between additions. Stir in vanilla. Carefully turn batter out over fruit in cake pan, pouring and spreading so as to cover fruit and caramel. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes (the cake will be an almost chocolate brown). Cake should shrink from sides of pan and spring back in center when you touch gently on the center. While cake is still quite hot, place flat cake plate over top of cake, and invert cake onto cake plate. Slowly and carefully remove the cake pan, using a paring knife to lift the edge.

Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 500 calories, 18 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 100 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium, 82 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 60 g sugar, 5 g protein

Pineapple variation: Arrange five or six pineapple rings on caramel. Fill centers with cut banana. Decorate in between with raisins or cherries. Use pineapple juice instead of lemon juice or water when making the caramel. Make cake as above.


(Mrs Kiyabu believed in making jelly 1 cup at a time, something she learned from a great jelly-maker of her acquaintance. It’s all but a lost art now). Here are a couple more of her tips & the recipe is below. Enjoy! 🙂

– As with any jelly, you start by extracting the juice, boiling the cherries briefly, then allowing them to drip through a filter. (People used to use jelly bags made from muslin, but Mrs Kiyabu finds that a plain metal colander works just as well, if you’re careful.)

– Main thing: DON’T press on the fruit or stir it up. Five pounds of Surinam cherries yield about 7 cups of juice.

Surinam cherries Water Sugar

Wash and sterilize as many small canning jars as you think you’ll need in boiling water (4- or 6-ounce jars). Don’t boil lids; place them in a colander and pour very hot water over them.

Place whole Surinam cherries — however many you have; you’ll be measuring later — in a large soup pot. Cover with water; water should cover cherries by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil until the liquid changes to red. Watch closely; length of time depends on size of pot and amount of cherries and water but at least 20-30 minutes.

Slowly and carefully, pour cherries and liquid into a metal colander (not a wire strainer) in the sink or over a large bowl. Do NOT press down or stir; handle fruit gently so it releases only the juice. Allow to drain undisturbed for half a day. When juice appears fully drained, discard pulp and seeds. Now you’re ready to make jelly.

Put 1 cup juice into a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and add 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil again and boil 4-5 minutes. Do not skim scum, just stir it back into the jelly. The jelly is ready when it drips off a wooden spoon in large blobs, not in a sheet. The entire process takes about 10 minutes.

Pour jelly into a sterilized 6-ounce jar. Kiyabu seals the jelly with a thin layer of paraffin wax, but some experts don’t consider this sufficient protection and suggest processing the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Repeat, 1 cup at a time, with remaining juice.

Per serving (1 tablespoon): 50 calories, 13 g carbohydrate, 12 g sugar, and no fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, fiber or protein

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