Cherries and amaretto play so well together in this luxurious and very easy to make Cherry Amaretto Compote. Use either fresh or frozen cherries to make this tasty sauce that is perfect on vanilla ice cream, cheesecake and pancakes.
This Cherry Compote makes Thanksgiving, Christmas or Valentines Day brunch extra special. Serve over waffles, pancakes or in a Yogurt Parfait along with Homemade Sausage and a Crustless Quiche. Also, for simpler desserts serve over a chocolate brownie or plain yogurt.
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What is Amaretto?
Amaretto is a sweet almond flavored liqueur that originated in Italy. It is very popular and is most often used to make desserts, mixed cocktails or is served over ice.
Cherry and Amaretto
Cherries, with their sour sweetness, is very much complimented by the nutty flavor of amaretto. Yes, this compote is amazing with other flavors such as vanilla, orange or cinnamon. However, the addittion of amaretto to the cherries is absolute perfection. Cherry and amaretto go together like peanut butter and jelly.
What is Cherry Compote?
Cherry Compote is a chunky sauce that is made of fresh or frozen cherries that is stewed in either juice or alcohol. It can either be a sweet or savory sauce and served either warm or cold. However, it is moist often served as a condiment for sweet breakfasts or with desserts.
The beauty of this Cherry Compote recipe is that it has just four simple ingredients. (Please see Variations section below for more flavor options.)
- Fresh or Frozen Cherries– If using frozen cherries let them defrost at room temperature for a few hours before making the compote. Also, either sweet or sour cherries may be used for this recipe but if you prefer a less sweet compote lower the sugar down to 1/4 cup when using sweet cherries (aka bing cherries).
- Amaretto– A delicious sweet liqueur, here is a list of the 7 best amarettos.
- Granulated Sugar– It is important not to use powdered sugar since it contains cornstarch, which will cause the compote to become over thickened. It is best to add the cornstarch separately.
- Cornstarch – This is my favorite organic cornstarch.
Step by Step Instructions
- To a large non-reactive saucepan add defrosted whole cherries with the juice and granulated sugar. Note: Non-reactive pans are stainless steel, glass, ceramic or enamel coated.
- Pour in amaretto.
- Stir well.
- Simmer over medium heat until sugar melts and cherries just start to break apart, about 6-7 minutes.
- The cherries will start to foam towards the last few minutes of cooking.
- Remove cherries with a slotted spoon leaving the liquids in the saucepan simmering still over medium-heat.
- Make a slurry with the cornstarch and a small amount of liquid from the saucepan.
- Add slurry to liquids and cook stirring often until the sauce begins to thicken slightly, about 2 minutes.
- Take sauce off of heat and combine cherries back into sauce. Stir well. Note: Let the Cherry Compote cool slightly before serving or let cool completely in the refrigerator.
In addittion to almond (aka amaretto), orange, vanilla, cinnamon and lemon all play nicely with cherry. To achieve a personalized tasting compote use a combination juices, spices and/or extracts from just a few of the ideas below.
- 1/2 cup of either orange juice, cherry juice or fruit punch. Additionally, 1/2 cup of orange liqueur can replace the amaretto.
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, vanilla extract, orange extract or add just 1 cinnamon stick.
- The zest of an orange or lemon is a delicious way to brighten up the Cherry Compote along with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or almond extract.
- A vanilla bean with the seeds scraped and added to the cherries before cooking would be delicious.
- As a sugar replacement honey, brown sugar, coconut sugar or maple syrup can replace the granulated sugar in equal parts
- Stir in a few tablespoons of cherry preserves at the end of cooking to really amp up the cherry flavor.
Using Fresh Cherries for this Easy Cherry Compote
During cherry season you may want to use fresh cherries. The good news, this Cherry Amaretto Compote tastes just as amazing with fresh fruit as it does with frozen. You will need the same amount of cherries (ok maybe the same amount plus 3 additional cherries to make up for the weight of the pits). However, the cherries will need to be pitted before cooking (this is an awesome cherry pitter). Additionally, 2-3 minutes more will need to be added onto the simmering time of the cherries to achieve similar results to using frozen cherries. All other instructions remain the same.
Cherry Amaretto Compote for Cheesecake or Cake
When using this fruit compote for cheesecake or as a cake filling it is very important that the sauce be on the thicker side. Instead of using 2 teaspoons of cornstarch use 1 full tablespoon. Also, let the Compote chill completely in the refrigerator before using.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a compote and a coulis or a jam?
This is such a great question! A compote is a chunky sauce that is made of fruit stewed in juice, wine or syrup. In contrast, a coulis is a thick sauce made of pureed and strained fruit (or vegetables). Lastly, a jam is a cooked fruit preserve that has a spreadable consistency and is very similar to a jelly.
How long does Cherry Compote last?
Stored in an airtight container this Cherry Compote will stay at its best for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator. However, if using orange juice or cherry juice it can last for approximately 10 days to two weeks.
Can Cherry Compote be frozen?
Absolutely! Simply pour the cooled Cherry Compote into freezer bags or containers, seal tightly and freeze for 4-6 months. To defrost place in the refrigerator overnight.
Note: Cherry Compote can last up to 1 year in the freezer but after 6 months the chances of it becoming freezer burnt greatly increase.
Cherry Amaretto Compote
- 1 pound frozen cherries *defrosted, See Note #1 below
- 1/2 cup amaretto
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch *See Note #2 below
- To a large sized non-reactive sauce pan add cherries, amaretto and sugar. Cook over medium-heat until the sugar melts and the cherries just start to break apart, approximately 6-7 minutes.
- Remove cherries with a slotted spoon leaving cherry liquid in the pan.
- In a small bowl make a slurry with the cornstarch and a small amount of the liquid from the cooked cherries.
- Add slurry to pan and cook stirring often over medium heat until sauce begins to slightly thicken, about 2 minutes.
- Take pan off of heat and stir cherries back into sauce. Let sauce cool before serving and refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container.