Tag Archives: Sour Cherries

What are compotes you may ask? Compotes are fresh or dried fruits slowly cooked in sugar syrup to retain their shape. They frequently contain wine or liqueur. Remember all those sour cherries I picked last week? I have a double batch of Sour Cherry Cordial sitting on our counter and I also wanted to try making Cherry Compote. The suggested uses were serving it over a slice of cheesecake or pound cake. Sounded good to me! Well the recipe was so delicious I immediately made a second batch. We’ll be lucky if this lasts until the winter!Cherry Compote

Hopefully you can find an orchard near you where you can pick sour cherries!

Cherry Compote

1 cup dry red wine
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
4 cups fresh or frozen pitted sour cherries
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp Sour Cherry Cordial or Kirsch

Before you start prepare some jars for canning using a water bath method.

Place the wine, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high het, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the cherries and return to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.Cherry Compote

Remove hot jars from your canner. Remove the cherries from the liquid with a slotted spoon and pack into the jars. Continue simmering the syrup until it is reduced to 2/3 cup.Cherry Compote

Stir together the cornstarch and water and stir into the syrup. Return to a boil and boil gently for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the cordial.

Pour the syrup over the cherries to within ½ inch of the rim. Place jar lids on and process 15 minutes for half pint jars and 20 minutes for pint jars.

Makes exactly three ½ pints.

Delicious served over vanilla ice cream!Cherry Compote


I am so thankful I had just enough cherries left over from making my Sour Cherry Cordial to make a pie. I just wish I’d picked more cherries! This was my first Cherry Pie I ever made and was it ever good! I think I got so excited over the fact that the pie came out so well I totally forgot to take any pictures until two big pieces were already cut! Whoops! So this is what is looked like.

dessert, pie, prudent living

Fresh Cherry Pie

The recipe came from my trusty Joy of Cooking cookbook. It’s a book I’ve been using forever and you can tell by looking at the pages. It was a gift from my mother one Christmas 34 years ago! It’s been well used.

cookbooks, cooking

Well loved Joy of Cooking

I used the recipe for Fresh Cherry Pie, simple and delicious!

dessert, pie, cherries

Fresh Cherry Pie Slice

Fresh Cherry Pie

Line a pie pan with your favorite pie dough. Wash, drain and pit:
4 cups of fresh, sour cherries.

Combine, then mix gently with cherries:
2 2/3 Tbsp quick cooking tapioca
1 ½ cups sugar
2 drops almond flavoring or 2 Tbsp kirch (optional)

Let the fruit mixture stand for 15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Pour fruit into the pie shell and dot with:
2 Tbsp butter

Cover with a well pricked top or lattice. Bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake about 40 minutes longer or until golden brown. One my girlfriends who also went cherry picking made a beautiful lattice topped pie. I’m sure it tasted as delicious as it looked! Hope she doesn’t mind my sharing her artistic talents!

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Lattice Topped Cherry Pie


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Sour cherries grow in Vermont but their season is very short.

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Sour cherries ready for picking

They also seem to be a fruit tree that is easily affected by the weather. As a result some years there is not any fruit produced. Our local orchard where we usually go to pick sour cherries did not have a harvest this year. Finding a local orchard that had sour cherries this summer proved to be very elusive. After calling around we found a pick your own orchard about an hour away. So five of us piled into the car and set off quite early to pick sour cherries.

sour cherries, farm

Pick Your Own

What a fun morning, the trees had a lot of fruit but it was mostly up in the tops of the trees so you really had to stretch to gather the fruit. I am thankful that I’m tall! It took a little over an hour to pick about seven pounds of cherries.

cherries, pick your own

Sour cherries

I knew exactly what I was going to make, Sour Cherry Cordial and a pie. More to come on the pie

I started making Sour Cherry Cordial several years ago and it is the perfect drink to enjoy in the middle of winter in front of the wood stove. It is the essence of summer! It is very easy to make and only requires patience, as you have to wait four months before you can enjoy it. If I make a batch now it will be ready to enjoy when the snow flies!

Sour Cherry Cordial

2 ½ pounds of sour cherries
3 cups vodka
3 cups of sugar

Put the vodka and washed, crushed cherries (without stems) in a large container.

cordial, sour cherries

Place sour cherries in a large container.

Let the cherry vodka mix sit in a cool dark place for one month. Shake occasionally.

cordial, liqueur

Cherries and vodka.

After a month, add the sugar, and let sit another month, shaking when you think of it. Strain, bottle, and age for four months.

Drink as an aperitif, or digestif, chilled or warm, in small glasses. We enjoy it over crushed ice.

liqueur, cordial

Be sure to label your bottle!

As you sip the cordial remember those warm sunny days of summer picking sour cherries in the orchard.sour cherry cordial, prudent living

cherries, cordial, prudent living

Sour cherries

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