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Cherries & melon in lemon thyme syrup

Cherries & melon in lemon thyme syrup

Diana Henry was served chilled cherries and melon with ginger ice cream many moons ago. She had never thought of the combination and loved it immediately – it was the inspiration for this recipe.

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  • Serves4
  • CourseDessert
  • Prepare15 mins
  • Cook10 mins
  • Total time25 mins
  • PlusPreparation time 15 minutes + cooling and chilling

Please note, we take every care to ensure the product, allergen and recipe information displayed is correct. However, should a product be unavailable, alternatives may be displayed and/or a substitution provided. If you have an allergy or intolerance, please always check the product label before use.


  • 175g granulated sugar
  • 500ml dry white wine
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, 2 broad strips zest, plus juice
  • 4 sprig/s lemon thyme, plus more to serve
  • 450g cherries, pitted (you can tear them with hands, but use a cherry stoner if you prefer)
  • 500g melon flesh, deseeded and cut into cubes (Galia or Cantaloupe are good, but they must be ripe!)
  • Ice cream, to serve


  1. Put the sugar into a medium saucepan with the wine, lemon zest, ½ the lemon juice, thyme and 100ml water. Bring to the boil, stirring to help the sugar dissolve, then boil for 8 minutes. The syrup will thicken as it cools.

  2. Taste the syrup – you should detect the thyme but it shouldn’t be overwhelming. If not strong enough, add more leaves and let it infuse the syrup as it cools. Taste again and add more lemon juice to lift the flavour if needed.

  3. Put the cherries into a serving bowl and strain the syrup over the top. Leave for a couple of hours, then add the melon (it gets tired and flabby if it’s in the syrup for too long). Toss in a few fresh sprigs of the reserved lemon thyme, then serve with pistachio or vanilla ice cream (if making your own, almond or ginger flavours would also work well).

Cook’s tip

Out of season, you could use a 400g pack frozen Essential Dark Sweet Cherries, which are pitted. Defrost and drain before using


Typical values per serving (without ice cream) when made using specific products in recipe


1,047kJ/ 250kcals



Saturated Fat












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