Cherries, for sure, are my favorite stone fruits, and in season, I like to eat them not only fresh, but also cooked in number of ways. The hardest part usually is to pit them, and that is something that kids or husbands deserve to do (ha ha ha). But seriously, I usually do it myself since I have that weird looking machine that presses the pits out. Although this recipe calls for frozen cherries, you can make them with fresh ones, too, just add some cherry juice or more Lillet.
And about Lillet. I believe there is not one French person who does not know what Lillet is. If not the taste, then at least everyone knows the charming, old school looking bottle on which even the name itself is not as big as the sentence “Servir très frais” (serve well chilled). And here I am suggesting you boil it for 30 minutes. Well, let me tell you something. When chilled, Lillet is great as an aperitif (with some tonic, lots of ice and so much more), but for me it just releases the best aromas when it is boiled, since in the making process after selecting the wine, they add sweet oranges from Spain, Turkey, or Morocco together with bitter oranges from Haiti and some quinine (yes, yes) from South America, too. All of that happens in the small village of Bordeaux, where the orange-infused wine matures in oak barrels for at least 6 months . Only at the end does careful separation of the matured wines show which wine from which cask can be called Lillet blanc, rose, or rouge.
250 ml Lillet blanc (but you can use red, too)
550 g thawed frozen cherries
200 ml cherry juice from the frozen cherries
1 vanilla bean
3 rose buds
150 g light brown sugar
Take a large, heavy saucepan. Put all of the ingredients into the saucepan and bring to boil. Boil for 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift out the cherries and put into a jar or on a plate. Turn the heat to almost the highest you can get, and continue to boil until the liquid reduces by half. Pour over the cherries and let them cool. Chill completely.
Serve with Pavlova or with yoghurt or with ice cream for a nicer day.
1 x 500 ml jar
Recipe and photos: Signe Meirane
Photos taken with Sony alpha 7s