I'm posting two recipes today, because I just created the most FABULOUS sour cherry sauce from a friend's cherry tree bounty this afternoon. These fruits are so fleeting, that I encourage you to visit your nearest neighbor's sour cherry tree as soon as they are ripe -- possibly now. Pick a few cups of these tart treats to make yourself this easy syrup to serve over ice cream or cake this season.
Make sure you freeze a serving or two for a taste of summer this winter.
Sour Cherry Sauce
2 cups pitted cherries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar (or 1/3 c. agave and reduce water to 1/3 c.)
1/2 t. vanilla
1 t. arrow root powder
Pit cherries with a cherry pitter and halve them (this takes about 20 minutes -- put on some favorite summertime music). Discard pits and imperfect cherries. Add water, sugar, vanilla and cherries to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 15 minutes.
Mix arrowroot powder with 1 t. water. Stir to dissolve. Add mixture to saucepan and stir over low heat until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. This amount of arrowroot powder will not make a thick syrup -- it will make a sauce just thick enough to coat a spoon. Add 2 t. arrowroot if you'd like a thicker syrup.
Also, you may use more or less sugar to taste. You can still taste the tartness of the cherries with this recipe, but it's not overly sweet. You can use less sugar for an equally delicious, but more tart sauce.
You can try a variety of flavorings that will compliment the cherries and your palette -- some prefer the taste of almond extract with their cherry syrup, others like brandy or kirsch. Experiment and enjoy!