The best cherries for compote are Morellos, but any time firm, not too ripe, cherries will do. This lovely dessert, which may be eaten hot or cold, can also be made with canned black, red or Morello cherries. In this case do not cook them first, just proceed with the recipe from step 2. Serve with whipped cream handed separately.
Photo credit = www.farmerjacks.co.uk
1 1/4 hours
1 kg / 2 1/4 lb fresh cherries, or 1.4 kg / 3 lb canned cherries in syrup
25 g / 1 oz caster sugar
5 cm / 2 in piece of cinnamon stick
thinly pared zest of 1 medium-sized orange
juice of 1/2 orange
150 ml / 5 fl oz dry red wine
30 ml / 2 tbs redcurrant jelly
10 ml / 2 tsp arrowroot, blended with 30 ml / 2 tbs water
60 ml / 4 tbs cherry brandy or kirsch
1- If using fresh cherries, Stone and put in a saucepan with the sugar, cinnamon and a piece of the orange zest. Cover and set on low heat until the juices begin to run (by which time the mixture will be almost at boiling point). Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. Discard the orange zest.
2- Cut the remaining orange zest into julienne strips, blanch them in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain.
3- Put the piece of cinnamon into the rinsed saucepan with the red wine. Bring to the boil and cook until the wine is reduced by about one quarter. Take from the heat.
4- Beat the redcurrant jelly with a fork and stir it into the wine. When it has melted, stir in the orange juice. Drain the syrup form the cooked, fresh or the canned cherries and stir into the mixture in the pan with the blended arrowroot. Bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer, still stirring, for 1 minute.
5- Take the pan from the heat and stir in the cooked, fresh or the canned cherries, the cherry barndy or kirsch, if using, and the orange strips. Serve hot or chilled.