Photograph: Martin Poole
Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Toss the cherries with the cherry brandy, if using, and jam. Tip into a shallow ovenproof baking dish approximately 20-30cm.
Put all of the Bakewell topping ingredients in a bowl and, using an electric hand whisk, mix them together for 2 minutes.
Spoon the Bakewell topping over the fruit in the baking dish. Scatter the almonds on top of the pudding. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until risen, golden and set. Serve warm with cream or ice cream, if you like.
Kitchen secret: if you don’t have a cherry stoner, use the flat blade of a kitchen knife to lightly squash each cherry on a board. The stone should be released, leaving the cherry fairly intact.