Cherry season is a short-lived summer treat and this recipe for Roasted Balsamic-Black Pepper Cherries with Coconut Cream is a great way to make the most of it!
Undoubtedly, the best way to eat fresh cherries is as-is. But there comes a point when your hands are stained red, your counter is full of juice splatter marks, and in place of a two-pound bag of cherries there’s just a pile of pits and stems. You still can’t stop buying fresh cherries though (their season is just too short-lived!), but you’re ready to branch out.
Roasted Balsamic-Black Pepper Cherries with Coconut Cream comes in mighty handy at that point.
This treat was inspired by the German dish Rumtopf, which is basically fruit (usually stone fruit and/or berries) preserved in a crock with rum and sugar. I’ve always wanted to try it, but my hubby and I don’t drink alcohol so I wanted to come up with a non-alcoholic version that still bears syrupy sweet fruit.
Here I roast cherries with just a couple other ingredients to highlight their flavor. Use the best-quality balsamic vinegar you can find, and don’t skip the black pepper. You won’t be able to taste the pepper, but it provides a little complexity to the flavor profile and a nice balance to the sweetness.
Served hot, this is more like a crumble-less cherry crisp, and the coconut cream just melts down into the cherries. It’s good that way, but I like it even better served cold. Either way, it’s a really lovely way to celebrate the flavor of cherries. Plus, it’s a really pretty and elegant dessert…perfect for summer entertaining!
- 1 (13.5 oz/400 ml) can unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk (you will only need 1/4 of the can for this recipe)
- 2 cups (275 g) whole sweet red cherries, rinsed and pitted
- 2 teaspoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- Refrigerate the coconut milk (while still in the can) until fully chilled, at least 8 hours, but overnight is better. Open the can from the bottom and drain off the thinner, liquid-y coconut milk (you can reserve it for use in something else, such as a smoothie, if you want). Transfer the thick, waxy-looking portion to a medium bowl, and whip it with a handheld electric beater until light and fluffy. (You will only need 1/4 of the coconut “whipped cream” for this recipe.)
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Stir together the cherries, vinegar, oil, honey, salt, and pepper in an 8 by 8-inch baking dish. Spread out the cherries and roast until they’re softened and starting to burst, about 15 to 18 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
- Serve the cherries hot or cold, topped with coconut “whipped cream”.