I like cherries. In order to make cherries easily available for my breakfast compote or dessert after dinner, I stew up a big batch of fresh cherries. Creating the cherry compote is part of my Saturday morning routine. It is pretty easy with very little measuring. The most arduous task is pitting the cherries.
To start, I have 2 bags of fresh cherries, about 3 to 5 pounds. Then using the hand-held pitter, I pop out the seeds. I then deposit the seedless cherry into a big 8-quart stock pot. Wear an apron unless you want cherry juice splattered on your shirt.
Once all the cherries have been pitted, it is time to slow cook them. I add no water, as there is plenty of juice in the cherries, as you will find out pitting them.
Occasionally, I will add a few things such as vanilla, cinnamon, dried cranberries, or sugar. If I use sugar, I sprinkle in approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup, just to thicken the juice after it is cooked. But you don’t have to add anything.
Turn the stove top burner on low. If you start with high heat, you may burn some of the cherries. Just leave the temperature on low. The cherries will begin to release juice providing a solution to cook in.
Watch carefully if the pot is covered because the cherries will tend to froth and boil over. Stir occasionally. I stew the cherries for 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the batch and the consistently I want.
The cherries will reduce in volume by about two-thirds. I let the cherry compote cool then put into a bowl to store in the refrigerator. I then use the cherry compote throughout the week as an addition to other fruit for breakfast such as mixing with strawberries and blueberries. In the evening, we might pair the cherry compote with some whipped cream in place of ice cream.
I never have to worry about the cherry compote spoiling as it does not stay around for very long.