A perfect summer dessert

Cherry, apricot and almond brioche bake

NATIONAL Cherry Day is celebrated on July 16 – and cherries can make a great summer dessert. There are more than 1000 different cherry varieties, sweet and tart combined, but only 20 per cent of them are used for commercial purposes. 

The average cherry tree has 7,000 cherries – so productive, can yield up to 28 pies! They come in shades ranging from red to yellow, but remember not to chew on cherry pits, because they can release toxins.

Our cherry-filled recipe is a brioche bake that makes a great summer pudding.

Cherry, apricot and almond brioche bake





  • 10 slices brioche loaf (from a 500g pack)

  • 120g apricot jam

  • 175g frozen pitted sweet cherries

  • 4 small, ripe apricots, destoned and chopped into 6-8 chunks

  • 3 eggs

  • 375ml buttermilk

  • 40g butter, melted and cooled slightly

  • 65g golden caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp

  • 2 tsp vanilla paste or extract

  • 1 tsp almond extract

  • 1 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

  • 2 tsp icing sugar

  • Single cream or crème fraîche, to serve (optional)


  • Roughly line a 22cm round, loose-bottomed tin with a large sheet of baking paper that hangs over the sides. Spread the brioche slices with the apricot jam.
  • Arrange enough brioche slices in the tin, jam-side up, to completely cover the base, tearing to fit. Halve the remaining brioche slices diagonally, then arrange in the tin, jam-side down, layering the cherries and apricot chunks among them to fill the tin.
  • Beat the eggs with a fork, then sieve into a mixing bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk, melted butter, 65g sugar, the vanilla paste and almond extract with a small pinch of salt. Pour this custard evenly over the brioche mixture, then leave in a cool place to soak for 1½ hrs.
  • Preheat the oven to gas 2½, 160°C, fan 140°C and scatter the almonds over the soaked brioche. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 40 mins, then scatter over the remaining 2 tbsp caster sugar and bake for 15 mins more until the top is golden and the bake wobbles slightly when the tin is shaken. Leave to cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer the bake to a serving plate and dust with the icing sugar. Serve, cut into wedges, with cream or crème fraîche.