I love sour cherries, but they are hard to find. A couple weeks ago I went to Northern Michigan with my family, and was lucky enough to pick up a few quarts at a farmer’s market. I froze them, and immediately started dreaming up ways to use them all.
My first thought was jam. I love jam, but find a lot of store-bought versions too sweet. I make my own version using just enough sugar to tame the sweetness of tart fruit, like these cherries.
This was going to become a jam, but I like the whole cherries, so instead I just turned it into more of a sauce. Some sugar, orange juice, and my favorite ingredient, Grand Marnier. The orange flavored liqueur added at the end adds a twist of flavor that’s complimentary if you don’t have a heavy hand. I used very little sugar here, so feel free to add more if you want it sweeter.
If you want jam, you can just continue cooking until you get the texture you’re looking for. Oh, and when I make jam or something like this, I don’t make enough to worry about canning and sealing it; I usually just make enough for a small jar, which we’ll eat in a week or so.
Use this on ice cream, oatmeal, or yogurt. Or just eat it with a spoon.
- 4 cups pitted sour cherries
- ¼ cup sugar
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Grand Marnier
- Put the cherries, sugar, and orange juice in a saucepan and add about half a cup of water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until cherries are broken down and sauce is slightly thickened.
- Mix the cornstarch with cold water and stir until cornstarch is dissolved. Add it to the sauce and boil until thickened. When the sauce coats the back of a spoon (it will thicken up in the fridge) turn off heat. Add a splash of Grand Marnier (a teaspoon or so) and let cool enough to taste. Add more Grand Marnier if necessary, being careful not to overpower the cherries.
- Let cool completely, transfer to a jar or airtight container with a lid and store in the fridge for about a week.