In this Balsamic Roasted Cherries recipe, roasting enhances the deep fruity flavor of cherries and a touch of balsamic vinegar and honey help highlight the cherries' flavor even more.
Cherry season is a short-lived summer treat and this recipe 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.
The Best Balsamic Roasted Cherries Recipe
In this recipe, we'll 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, this is a really pretty and elegant dessert, which makes it perfect for summer entertaining!
Balsamic Roasted Cherries Ingredients
- Coconut cream (or canned unsweetened full-fat coconut milk)
- Fresh cherries
- Good-quality balsamic vinegar
- Coconut oil
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
How to Roast Cherries
- Rinse and pit the cherries.
- Spread them out with the seasonings in a baking dish.
- Roast at 400F until they're softened and starting to burst, about 15 minutes.
How to Store Roasted Cherries
Store roasted cherries in an airtight food storage container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Variations on This Recipe
- Go exotic. Add a pinch of ground mahlab to enhance the cherry flavor even more. Mahlab is a spice commonly used in Middle Eastern baking. It's the ground seed kernel from St Lucie cherry pits, and it tastes like a cross between almonds and cherries. You can find mahlab on Amazon.
- Warm it up. Add a couple pinches of ground cinnamon.
- Deepen the flavor. Just a little splash of vanilla extract as soon as the cherries are out of the oven is perfect! Or better yet, use just a touch of vanilla bean paste.
- Make it vegan. Use maple syrup instead of honey.
Roasted Cherries FAQs
What Type of Cherries Should I Use for This Recipe?
I like to use sweet cherries with a deep red color for this recipe. Either Bing cherries or Chelan cherries are good choices.
What's the Best Way to Pit Cherries?
Honestly, I love the ease of using a cherry pitter! You can find a basic cherry pitter for less than $10 on Amazon that will get the job done.
But it is also possible to pit cherries without a tool. Another method I really like is the chopstick/bottle method to remove cherry pits! To use this method:
- Place a clean empty bottle on a flat surface.
- Remove the cherry stem. Place the cherry on top of the bottle with the divot where the stem was facing up.
- Use a chopstick to plunge into the divot, pushing the pit into the bottle below.
How Long do Fresh Cherries Last in the Fridge?
If you don't plan on eating (or cooking) your cherries right away, you can store them in a paper bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for up to 1 week.
More Healthy Cherry Dessert Recipes to Try
Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below because I love hearing from you! You can also tag @anediblemosaic and #healthysweeteats on social media. To stay up-to-date FOLLOW ME on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Xoxo, Faith
Balsamic Roasted Cherries
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Stir together the cherries, vinegar, coconut 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, tossing once halfway through.
- Use a handheld electric mixer to beat the coconut cream for a minute or so.
- Serve the cherries hot or cold, topped with coconut whipped cream.
- Coconut Cream: If you can’t find coconut cream, you can use a 13.5-ounce can of unsweetened full-fat coconut milk. 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 ¼ of the coconut “whipped cream” from a 13.5-ounce can for this recipe.)
- Vegan-Friendly: To make this dish vegan, use maple syrup instead of honey.
This post was first published on Healthy Sweet Eats on July 2, 2015. It was updated with more information on August 5, 2021.