July 30, 2011

Escoffier Makes Sour Cherry Compote!


By Kirsten Larsen

My neighbor’s sour cherry tree is heavy with fruit, begging for me to harvest its little orbs of tartness. There’s a competition occurring between myself and the birds, and the winged creatures are winning. Each time I climb the ladder to reach the bright red cherries, I get dive bombed by hungry sparrows, so which requires me to be fast and focused. If you have a cherry tree, it is very handy to envelop it in a mesh netting to help protect the fruits from greedy animals.

A classic summer treat is a bowl of french vanilla ice cream, topped with a slightly warmed fruit compote. This sour cherry compote is the perfect gift to bring to a dinner party. Your friends will be impressed by your creativity and sophistication. Just don’t tell them how easy it really was.

Sour Cherry Compote recipe from Saveur


6-8 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons rum
Seeds from ½ a vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 Cup water
3/1 Pound sour cherries, pitted


Combine all ingredients, except for the cherries, in a small pot. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue stirring for about 7 minutes, until the mixture reduces a bit to a syrup. Add your cherries and cook for about 7-8 minutes, or until tender. Serve warm or chilled over ice cream or poundcake! Keep refrigerated.