Sautéed Cherries with Vanilla Bean

August  4, 2014

Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich is going rogue on Food52 -- with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.

Today: Fresh cherries are wonderful, but sometimes you need to heat things up in the summertime.

Sauteed Cherries on Food52

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It's hard to stop eating fresh cherries in their season, but eventually you may be tempted to cook a few. Depending on your mood and inclination, you can serve this compote hot, warm, or cold, perhaps in a little dish with an amaretti cookie or two. Or spoon it around scoops of vanilla ice cream or over sour cream soufflés. Or serve with a little fromage blanc topped with toasted almonds and cracked black pepper.

Sautéed Cherries with Vanilla Bean

Serves 4 as a compote, 6 to 8 as an accompaniment

1 pound (3 cups) ripe cherries
3 tablespoons vodka
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
Pinch of salt
Fresh lemon juice, to taste

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Get excited about Alice's forthcoming book Flavor Flours: nearly 125 recipes -- from Double Oatmeal Cookies to Buckwheat Gingerbread -- made with wheat flour alternatives like rice flour, oat flour, corn flour, sorghum flour, and teff (not only because they're gluten-free, but for an extra dimension of flavor, too). 



Photo by Linda Pugliese


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  • SophieL
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    Elizabeth Detrich
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    Allison T
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).


SophieL July 15, 2015
Super easy, super delicious! Made with brandy and vanilla paste. I've mostly had this with my morning Greek yogurt and granola, but also have had it over ice cream, in smoothies and sometimes I just open the jar straight out of the frig and have a spoonful. So good.
Elizabeth D. June 24, 2015
While I'm sure vodka is nice, rum, amaretto, chambord or triple sec would be a lovely addition to this recipe.
Sujatha February 7, 2015
Similar to a quick dessert i treat just myself to when rest of family goes skiing. Substitute vodka for brandy, add some orange zest to cook, serve over honey-flavored greek yogurt. Divine.
Kate August 4, 2014
Ohhh, I wish I had seen this before making cherry-almond ice cream this weekend...this would have been perfect for the cherry swirl. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to make it again! :)
Allison T. August 4, 2014
Sounds delish! We found some cherries at our local store that are called strawberry cherries that have wonderful flavor, I think they would be wonderful in this dish! Thanks for sharing.