Cherry compote

Fresh cherriesThe cherries are glorious at the moment, so much so that I can’t seem to stop eating them. Because M and I are both buying them whenever we see them, there’s sometimes a bowlful that passes it’s best before we get around to devouring them. This is a great recipe for using up fruit that’s past it’s very best in a way that is completely delicious.

This compote works well as a breakfast accompaniment, as a sweet treat or as a juicy component in a trifle, cranachan or parfait. You can vary this recipe depending on what fruit is in season where you are, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordining (softer fruits, like raspberries, will need less time. Harder or larger fruits like apricots will need more time). It’s best to adapt the amount of sugar depending on how sweet your fruit is too, by adding half at the start of the cooking process, and tasting after the first 10-15 minutes.

Pitted cherries

Makes about 6 servings as a side dish

Time needed: 45 minutes

What you need

3 cups fresh pitted cherries

¼ cup sugar

¾ cup water

How to make it

  1. First prepare your cherries. Wash thoroughly, then remove the stones and set aside. If you have a cherry pitter, lucky you. I used a short, sharp vegetable knife to slice the fruits in half, then dig out the stone with my fingers. Not a very sophisticated technique, I’ll grant you, but effective nonetheless!
  2. Now place all of your ingredients into a medium saucepan, big enough to hold them comfortably. Slowly bring the water to the boil, give everything a stir, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  3. Leave to simmer for around 15 minutes, until the cherries are soft throughout and the liquid is frothy. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cherries from their juices and set aside.
  4. Turn up the heat on the juices, bring back to the boil then simmer again for around 10 minutes until thick and syrupy. The cherry juice should coat the back of a spoon easily when ready.
  5. Pour the juice over the cherries and serve alongside some thick yoghurt. The compote should keep in a sealed contained for around a week.