Life is just a bowl of cherries, don’t take it serious, its mysterious. Life is just a bowl of cherries, so live and laugh and laugh at love, love a laugh, laugh and love.
At this time of year I am even less inclined than usual to make a real pudding. Actually my pretty limited pudding patience runs out in May, – this year it was about the 5th when I made this again. This is pretty fortuitous timing considering that as my Patience fades, nature throbs and thrives and steps in with the most superlative sweet bowlfuls. The equally superlative gelateria two minutes from our flat – the one someone runs to while the carnage of plates is being cleared from the table, the one that scoops out much icy- creamy flavoured gelato joy to all – provides good company for the fruit feast.
The first sweet bowlfuls are of strawberries, sliced and tossed with lemon and sugar to make them glisten and weep with flavour. Soon we will have bowls of golden apricots eaten just so or macerated in sweet wine, or rose flushed peaches sliced and served with Giolitti’s finest gelato di crema. Next should be the berries which I like straight with some thick cream and then the currants, black and red soaked in cassis, shirt stainingly beautiful. Then will come sweet, smooth skinned nectarines and finally syrupy sweet, luscious figs.
But right now it’s cherry time.
We ate the first bag-fulls from the market and those still warm from our friends tree just so, devouring the tiny, deep red, fleshy globes greedily and just a little compulsively. Then, inspired by Sigrid (as I so often am) I gently poached some of our cherry bounty in a little water, some golden caster sugar, a couple of strips of lemon zest, 2 couple of cloves, and a stick of cinnamon.
They needed only 10 minutes, just enough to render them tender but still holding their shape, I then scooped out the fruit from the deep red liquid and set it aside while the syrup bubbled and reduced away for a little longer before reuniting both fruit and syrup and letting them macerate and mellow in the fridge.
I think this compote is best served cold, so the syrup is thick and unctuous.
On Saturday we ate the compote spooned over some bitter, dark chocolate gelato then on Sunday morning we ate the left overs with thick, creamy Greek yogurt which was especially nice.
I have been thinking I should really try and have a little pudding patience this summer because I think a spoonful of these would be delicious with this.
- 1 kg sweet cherries, washed de-stalked and slit to the stone on one side
- 60g caster sugar
- about 10 tbsp water (just enough to cover the cherries)
- 2 cloves
- a couple of strips of lemon zest
- a stick of cinnamon
Put the cherries in a heavy based pan with the water, sugar, cloves, lemon zest and cinnamon.
Cook over a modest heat until the cherry juices run and the sugar had dissolved and then simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
The cherries should be paler and tender but still holding their shape.
Using a slotted spoon lift the cherries from the juice and set them aside in serving bowl and then increase the heat under the juice and let it boil and bubble until you have an intense, sweet, thicker syrup.
Remove the syrup from the heat and then pour it over the cherries.
Chill and serve as you like.