In my last post I have mentioned that I will be posting some recipes featuring cherries as a main ingredient. As the season of these amazing summer fruits is coming to an end, there are many ways to preserve them while at their peak of freshness and quality. You can of course make jam out of cherries and it will taste wonderful but this time I thought of preserving them as compote. This option is slightly different from jam as you won't need to chop or process the cherries, however, you may pit the fruits or leave them whole.
Cherry jam made only with cherries has a wonderful taste on its own but I do find it needs a booster and what better way than to add some citrus fresh for added freshness and taste? I do believe that lemon, lime and orange (or any citrus for that matter) add so much flavor to both sweet and savory recipes even when used sparingly.
This compote recipe is really quite simple but perhaps the only problem with it is the cherry pitting. It does take time and you better wear gloves if you don't want your hands to stain! However, the end result is really worth it! I have made several batches of this compote, and I think I will keep on making it until the cherry season is over. It is really that good!
For 2 small jars or a big one, you will need:
- 350 g pitted cherries
- 180 sugar
- 1 lemon and 2 orange peels (a small slice of each fruit is enough, remember you only need the zest)
- 1/4 tsp of pectine (optional, it thickens and helps in the setting of the compote)
- 1 tsp lemon juice and 2 tsp orange juice
Combine everything in a heavy bottom sauce pan, mix well then leave to simmer over a gentle heat for about 30 min. When done, the cherries are tender but still holding their shape. If you overcook them, the fruits will disintegrate and you don't want that in a compote.
Transfer to sterilized jars and close. Once cooled transfer to the fridge. If you want to preserve them out of the fridge, you need to sterilize the filled jars again. However, once opened, it's better to put them in the fridge. I usually don't bother with this process as I only make small batches.
Enjoy them over your pancakes, over a toast and some butter, as a filling for a cake, over baked brie or camembert, really, the choices are endless.
I will share with you soon an easy recipe using this extremely delicious compote, stay tuned!