July 30, 2011

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.