I made a boozy cherry compote as a topping for the Chocolate-Cherry Truffle Tart I baked about a week and a half ago. The tart is my variation on a recipe by the amazing Abby Dodge as part of the bake together project she initiated on Twitter. It was so much fun, not only to participate but to see all the variations other people came up with; I may need to try a few!
I love the combination of cherries and chocolate and thought that a cherry compote would be a nice variation on Abby’s recipe. Well it almost didn’t happen. I was having such a time trying to find them I can’t tell you how many different stores I went to looking for them. I was getting so frustrated I thought for sure I’d have to do something else. I even tried to find frozen! Luckily I was able to find fresh and so this compote was born.
Pitting a bunch of cherries can be messy business, so I try to minimize the splatter as best as I can. I wear surgical gloves to keep my hands from turning red and I aim my handy-dandy cherry pitter into a bag. The splatter, as you can see goes right into the bag along with the pits!
I used some kirsch, a cherry liquor, for a little extra cherry flavor and a nice little kick.
The cherries came out delicious and were also really good on vanilla ice cream…and almond fudge, and…well you get the idea. I’ll bet this compote can be used in many other ways as well, how would you serve them?
This really is a very simply, easy recipe. But let me tell you once you make your own, you’re not going to want to use store bought again!
4 ounces water
2 ounces kirsch
6 tablespoons sugar
½ vanilla bean
1 ½ pounds cherries, pitted
1. Combine the water, kirsch and sugar in a saucepan.
2. Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and add to the saucepan along with the vanilla bean pod; bring to a boil. Continue to boil, gently stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Carefully add the cherries to the pot and give them a stir. Return to a boil and then lower to a simmer.
4. Continue to simmer until the cherries are tender and the liquid is syrupy, about 20 minutes. If you want the cherries really broken down, cook longer; if you want them more firm, cook for a shorter amount of time.
5. Allow to cool before using.
NOTES: If you want them boozier, add more kirsch. If you don’t want them boozy, a teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract would be nice as well or simply some cherry juice.