Feasting on sour cherries: morello cherry compote recipe

It was a bumper harvest from our little morello cherry tree this year.

We planted it two years ago, in the front garden, and – until now – it had spectacularly failed to either grow a lot or produce very much fruit.

But, back in Spring, I was excited to see the branches weighted down with blossom and I had a good hope for enough fruit to do more with than my usual annual bottle of cherry vodka.

Cherry blossom
Photo taken from my instagram account, apologies to those who have seen it before…

I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, so low-slung were the branches from the mountains of cherries that I feared they might never regain their normal shape again.

Picking cherries
I couldn’t resist showing you the perfect match between my nails (in an extremely rare manicured moment) and the cherries…
Sproglet and cherries
“Take a photo of my hands and the cherries too please Mummy”

After a good cherry harvest (with excellent help from the littles) we were left with a giant bowl of cherries, ready to cook up and turn into something fabulous.

Morello cherry bowl
Our fruit bowl piled high with the bounty

Morello cherries, despite looking fabulously glossy, red and biteable, are actually quite sour and can’t be eaten without cooking and / or adding a large dollop of sugar.

I ummed and ahhed with the idea of cherry jam or a cherry pie, but in the end settled for a huge batch of compote since it can be added to so many other things.

Morello cherry compote
Such a spectacular coloured compote…

It’s hardly even a recipe, so simple is it to make, but here it is written down for anyone interested.

  1. Wash and halve cherries and remove pips.
  2. For every 300g of cherries, add 50g of sugar
  3. Place cherries and sugar in a pan, with a tablespoon of water for every 300g.
  4. Cook, over a gentle heat, for about 10 minutes, until the fruit is soft but hasn’t lost its shape.

You could eat the compote hot, with something like a chocolate or rice pudding, or let it cool and keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks and turn it into any number of other wonderful things.

I used some of mine to make ice cream, by using our ice cream maker to churn a tub of natural yoghurt, then adding a bit more sugar and a few tablespoons of the cherry compote right at the end.

Most delicious though, was this layered pudding, made with a layer of the compote followed by a layer of crème fraiche and then repeated. I didn’t have ay amaretti biscuits, but some crumbled over the top would have made it even more toothsome.

Cherry compote and creme fraiche
Two minutes to make, but beautiful to look at…

And so, until next year, our morello cherry harvest is eaten up and I just have the odd snifter of cherry vodka to remind me of the tastes of early summer. I needn’t feel too sad though, for the plums and apples are ripening on the tree and I have the promise of an equally delicious plum and apple compote soon enough…

8 thoughts on “Feasting on sour cherries: morello cherry compote recipe

  1. Oh they’re delicious aren’t they. I had a few from a tiny tree in my front garden this year as well. My neighbour has a much bigger one (still only around three years old) out the back, and it overhangs our garden as well. I keep eyeing the cherries up, it’s absolutely covered with them. I think I shall ask him if he wants any help picking them… I like them as compote as well, over Greek yoghurt. It makes the yoghurt taste like cream, it’s utterly delicious. Creme fraiche is a brilliant idea as well, and I imagine mascarpone would be good too. Hmm, now I’m obsessing about them. CJ xx

  2. Cherry ice cream sounds divine! although we don’t get stupid slugs in the garden the squirrels, (I hate squirrels) devour both our cherries and peaches, so sadly we got nothing this year! and weirdly I used to have those fish bowls. – have a lovely weekend.

  3. Hello! Just a note, way after your post, to say thanks for such a simple recipe. Our tiny morello tree (we call him Trevor) was heaving with fruit this year, around 4kg, and the birds were far less interested than usual.
    With no freezer at the moment, I’d made a few batches of jam and then moved onto your compote recipe which was so incredibly simple.
    It was premiered yesterday at a family bbq, served on top of ice cream, and wolfed down with very happy noises and enthusiastic compliments. Even my fruit-averse husband is converted. Thank you! Now to see if Trevor can deliver one final batch ….

  4. I would love to get a Morell cherry tree. Do you think they would grow in the Midwest US? I buy them in jars around Christmas my daughter inlaw is from Bosnia and just loves pastries made from them.

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