Fresh Cherry Compote

When Northwest sweet cherries are in season, eat as many as you can by the handful and then preserve summer’s bounty for later in the year with this simple cherry compote!

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups


  • 1 pound whole unpitted Northwest cherries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Special equipment:

Cherry pitter


1 Pit the cherries: Use a cherry pitter to remove the cherry pits and cut them in half, leaving a few whole cherries if you like. Once pitted, you should have about 2 1/2 cups cherries.

If you don’t have a cherry pitter, gently press on the cherries with the heel of your hand to flatten them. The pressure loosens the pit from the fruit and the cherries are easy to break in half with your fingertips so you can remove the pits.

Fresh Cherry Compote

2 Cook the cherries: In a medium non-reactive saucepan, combine the pitted cherries, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Adjust the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for about 4 minutes, or until the cherries release their juices and the sugar dissolves.

Fresh Cherry Compote

Fresh Cherry Compote

3 Cool the compote: Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vinegar. Pour into a clean glass jar, let cool to room temperature, cover with the jar’s lid and refrigerate.

The compote will keep, refrigerated for up to 1 week. It can be frozen for up to 12 months.



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