Tart and sweet Cherry Compote is a delicious fruit sauce. This recipe is quick and easy, with a short ingredient list and a simple cooking process. Sour cherries simmer in lemon-vanilla syrup. Enjoy homemade compote with breakfast or dessert.
Fruit compote is a simple way to add fruit to your favorite dishes. Cherry compote has delightful sweet and tart flavors thanks to sour cherries, lemon juice, and a small amount of sugar.
Like my mixed berry compote, this compote uses few ingredients and comes together quickly. Made with fresh or frozen cherries, this cherry sauce is versatile. Serve it with breakfast, brunch, or dessert. For a tropical spin, try my mango compote too.
What is Compote?
Compote is fruit cooked or preserved in sugar syrup. The fruit cooks until it breaks down. What is a cherry compote? It is a compote from cherries of any variety; for this recipe, it is sour cherries cooked in sugar syrup. In addition, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract are added to the tart cherries. While made similarly, compote is less sweet than jam. Compote is looser in consistency without adding pectin (or stabilizer) and has a shorter shelf life of two weeks.
Homemade Cherry Compote
Cherry compote is as easy to make as it is delicious to eat. This recipe is perfect for any day of the week - it comes together in only twenty minutes. The cherry sauce is made without cornstarch; there is no need for a thickening agent. The fruit breaks down as it cooks, releasing the natural fruit flavors. Here is why you will love this easy cherry recipe:
- This recipe only uses four simple ingredients.
- Thanks to frozen fruit, there is no need to pit the cherries.
- Frozen cherries are frozen at the peak of freshness, making the flavor sublime.
- Homemade cherry compote is ready in minutes.
- Fruit compote is a versatile topping for various sweet and savory foods.
- Sour Cherries (frozen)
- Granulated Sugar
- Lemon Juice (fresh)
- Vanilla Extract
See the recipe card for ingredient quantities.
STEP 1 - Stir the cherries, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan.
STEP 2 - Place the saucepan with the berry mixture over medium heat and boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture has reduced and thickened slightly.
STEP 3 - Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Substitutions and Additions
- Lemon Juice - Lime Juice, Orange Juice (fresh)
- Vanilla Extract - Almond Extract (use less)
- Additions - Star Anise, Cinnamon Stick
- Keto - Unfortunately, cherries have too many carbs to be part of a keto diet.
- Low-Sugar - Reduce the sugar by one tablespoon, or use a sugar substitute like monk fruit sweetener in substitution.
- Fresh Cherry Compote - Follow the recipe but with fresh pitted cherries - cooking time and consistency may vary.
- Savory - Swap the lemon juice for balsamic or other sweet vinegar. Use this savory compote rendition with pork, lamb, or duck.
Transfer the cooled compote to an airtight container or jar. Refrigerate it for one week.
Can you freeze cherry compote? Compote can be frozen. Transfer the cooled compote to an airtight container. Freeze it for up to 3 months - thaw completely in the refrigerator before eating.
Other Fruit Compote Recipes
How to Use Fruit Compote
Compote is impressively versatile in its use. Whether with breakfast or dessert, homemade cherry compote is a delicious accompaniment to some of your favorite food items.
- Breakfast - Use cherry compote with several breakfast items, from oatmeal to waffles. Try it over pancakes or inside crepes. Serve it with yogurt and granola. Or stir it into overnight oats like these PB and J overnight oats.
- Cake - Whether as a cake filling or topping, compote is a fantastic addition to any cake. Try it with classic cake flavors like chocolate or vanilla, or scoop it over slices of vanilla buttermilk pound cake.
- Cheesecake - Scoop cherry compote over a set and cooled cheesecake.
- Ice Cream - Top vanilla or chocolate ice cream with cherry compote, slivered almond, and chantilly cream.
- Thaw the frozen cherries in the refrigerator for four hours or overnight.
- Stir the compote frequently as it cooks.
- Cool the compote completely before storing it in the refrigerator or freezing it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Compote is delicious warm or cold; it is up to personal preference and the items it is being served with.
Yes, you can mix cherries with other fruits like berries or plums. Remember that texture and cooking time may vary depending on the fruit used.
Compote lasts up to one week in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.
- 16 oz frozen sour cherries thawed, or pitted fresh cherries
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Stir the cherries, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan.
- Place the saucepan with the cherry mixture over medium heat and boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture has reduced and thickened slightly.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Serve warm, or allow to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.