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How to make Cherry Compote – Recipe

I went to the Okanagan last week and came back with oodles of Peaches & Cherries. Peaches go seamlessly into jam, pies & all sorts of things.

But if you have more cherries than you can eat fresh and you need to preserve them, what to do?

Cherry compote!

It’s super easy, tastes great and really versatile. Add it to a cheese plate or use it like jam. You can fill chocolates with it to make chocolate covered cherries. Use it as a sauce for bbq pork or duck. Spoon over ice cream, scones, chocolate cakes. Or if you’re feeling fancy, just eat it straight out of the jar with the fridge door hanging open.

There’s 2 parts to this recipe because I like having more sauce. You don’t need to do Part 2 but I recommend it.

I’ve used Port in this recipe cause that’s what I had kicking around, but you could really use any intensely flavored liquid that you like. I’ve used water + a 1/2 cup of very dark stout with great success (careful with beer though, too much bitter is unpleasant). A touch of good balsamic can’t hurt. Red wine with a cinnamon stick and a few cloves would be nice. Have fun with whatever you’ve got : )


Part 1

9 cups Cherries (40 oz)

1 cup Port
1 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
1 Vanilla Bean, Split & Scraped
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Blackstrap molasses (optional)


1) Wash, stem & pit cherries.

2) Combine all Part 1 ingredients in a large pot

3) Cook on medium-high for about 30-40 minutes, until cherries are very soft and getting shriveled, and juice has become quite syrupy.

Part 2

1/2 cup cold water
+1tsp corn starch

*in this step, we add more liquid so there’s more sauce in the compote, and thicken it with the corn starch because we don’t want it runny*

1) Stir cornstarch into cold water.
2) While stirring, add in slow increments to boiling compote until you reach a consistency you like.
3) Pour finished compote into jars.

What else could we pair with cherry compote? Comment below!

– Food Nerd Matt