Sour Cherry Compote

Sorry for the food drought around here…As you read last week, I had a birthday to celebrate. I don’t normally do much to mark the turning of the calendar, but if the kick-off to my 33rd year is anything to judge by…it’s going to be a spectacular year and I can’t wait to see what unfolds!

The day of my first half-marathon is creeping ever closer. In fact, a month from now, I need to be able to run 13.2 miles! It feels pretty scary, but I’ve been keeping up with my training and it’s all gone smoothly, so let’s hope for the best come August 1 on race day. I decided to really kick-off my fundraising campaign for the American Cancer Society on my birthday, and use a little of my social media mojo to see how much money I could raise is 24 hours. I sent emails to friends, tweeted, blogged and posted to Facebook about my birthday wish for a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

I am still so stunned, in awe and grateful to those of you who’ve contributed to ACS on my behalf! I feel so blessed to have such amazing friends, and your encouraging words lifted my spirits on my long weekend run. You all helped me raise $835 in 24 hours! My goal is to raise $1500 (at least!) to fight cancer, so I’m halfway there! Click on that gorgeous Donate button on the right if you’d like to chip in a little for my quest to kick cancer’s ass!

Anyway, back to Birthdays…after you all made my day with your generous support, I came home, cracked a bottle of wine with Mark, Larry and Erika and set about making some light and fluffy gluten-free pancakes. Being a weeknight, I kept things easy and went for the Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free pancake mix and added cake spice and vanilla to bring a little flavor to the topping delivery vehicle. Let’s face it – pancakes are as much about what you put ON them as the quality of the ‘cake itself. I went for gran marnier sugared strawberries, whipped cream and this luscious sour cherry compote. All the toppings were well received, but the sour cherry was a standout, and that bowl was nearly licked clean. Pancakes drizzled in fresh fruit topping with loads of whipped cream – who needs actual Birthday Cake?! Not me.

What’s your favorite way to throw down the pancakes? Share your favorite topping, ‘cake recipe, or pancake-related story in the comments below.

Sour Cherry Compote
Makes 3 cups

1 quart of sour cherries, stemmed and pitted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 T cornstarch
1 T vanilla extract

  1. Pit cherries over a bowl, catching any juices.
  2. Place pitted cherries, sugar, cornstarch and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 2 minutes while stirring pretty constantly.
  3. Place a sieve over your empty cherry bowl, and pour the cherry mixture into the sieve and let the juice collect in the bowl below. Shake the sieve gently a few times to get most of the juice out. Return the collected juice to your saucepan, and simmer until the ruby red syrup is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cherries back to the pot, stir in the vanilla and let cool.
  4. Serve on pancakes, over sponge cake, oatmeal or bake a pie or crumble!

109 cal per 1/2 cup, 120mg potassium, 26g carbs, 1 g fiber, 23g sugars