Author Notes: I love fruits poached in red wine - in the autumn, I poach loads of pears and we have with meats and as dessert. I’ve tried tea, white wine, and all sorts of other combinations and have settled on one I like the most - this recipe. I use a Tempranillo red – a young, fruity, fresh red from the Northern Spanish region of Navarra, famous for its meats and cheeses, and wines. This particular wine has notes of fruits of the forest and its fragrance imbues the cherries with rounded flavours
Fooled into thinking I know a lot about wines? Not. I’m learning. I love this recipe because it can keep for a couple of weeks, is great on rice pudding (I had something similar in Copenhagen last year), ice-cream, baked breakfast goods and more. Tips for pitting cherries without a cherry pitter? All methods are based on the premise that your cherries have been rinsed and de-stalked. 1)My best method of the moment, as it minimises cherry juice loss is a straw - yes a drinking straw, but better still, if you have a small pipe, similar size to a drinking straw with a hollow, use that, it will be stronger. I used a flag pole on a small, play flag my kids had). Anyhow, press the straw/pipe through the top of the cherry (the bit you remove the stalk from) and and push the seed out, ensuring you're doing this over a bowl to catch whatever juices might want to slip away. 2) using a hair pin. I tried this by inserting the curved end through the top, and scooping the seed out. While it worked, I think more of the juices were lost than with the straw. I red that some people stick the two free ends of the hair pin into a wine cork and use that bit as the top/bit to hold. I will try it and let you know how it pans out. 3) Using the top end of a vegetable peeler - the long type. I haven't tried this as I don't currently have that type of veggie peeler. Apparently it works well. If all else fails, get a cherry pitter. I just might! —Kitchen Butterfly
500ml fruity red wine
1 cup (light) brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla powder or 1 whole vanilla pod, seeds scraped out and pod reserved
2 cinnamon sticks
Strips of skin of ½ an orange, using a vegetable peeler
Strips of skin of ½ a lemon, using a vegetable peeler
Pinch of salt
Crushed seeds of 10 cardamom pods
1 dried red chili pepper
500g cherries, rinsed, de-stalked and pitted
- Put the wine and sugar in a large pot and bring to the boil, stirring till the sugar is dissolved.
- Add all the other ingredients, except the cherries and let simmer covered for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take the cover off and boil on high for 5 minutes, till the liquid is reduced to about half its original volume. Adjust the sugar levels (adding more if required, but stirring well to dissolve)
- Add the cherries and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit, till cool.
- After the ‘rest’, store in clean kilner jars in the fridge, poaching liquid and all and use as needed.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Cherries