Cherry Compote

Serves: Makes 750g (around 1 medium Kilner jar)

Difficulty: Easy

Cherries can be expensive, so it’s worth buying extra when they’re in season and at their best, ready for making into a compote. You can then enjoy them all year round.

Once cooked and still hot, pour into sterilised jars and it’ll keep for upto 6 months. Great for spreading on rich brioche, poured over yogurt, or even added to a chilled glass of Prosecco.

I’m using golden granulated sugar in my recipe, but you can use whatever sugar you have. Jam sugar has added pectin which will help the compote set, but I never have any to hand. Make sure you taste a few cherries to see how sweet they are. If they are quite sour (and a little underripe) add a bit more sugar, if they are already very sweet, reduce the sugar slightly.

Ingredients

  • 1kg cherries, stones and stalks removed
  • 350g sugar, I like golden granulated sugar
  • 1 star anise (optional)
  • zest and juice of 1 orange

Method

1. Put all the ingredients into a large heavy based pan and bring to the boil. Stir often to help the sugar melt.

2. Turn down the heat so the compote is on a light rolling boil, and cook for 5 minutes before removing the star anise (if using). This will give enough of a background flavour, but if you love the flavour of this spice you can keep it in there until the end. I find it overpowers the delicate flavour of the cherries and prefer to remove it.

3. Gently cook the compote for 15 more minutes, until most of the liquid has reduced and most of the cherries have broken. Make sure around half of the cherries are submerged in juice.

4. In the meantime sterilise your preserving jar. Wash in warm soapy water and pop in a cold oven set to 150°C/300°F/gas 2 for 10 minutes to dry out. Or run them through a hot wash in the dishwasher.

5. When the compote is ready, carefully pour into the hot sterilised jar, seal immediately, and leave to cool. The compote will last about 6 months but always check the lid to see if anything unsavoury is growing on there. If there is then check the compote before eating.


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