Cherry Compote

This supremely simple compote uses almost no seasoning—just a splash of red wine to subtly enhance the cherries’ natural flavor. Serve it in a pretty cup with a dollop of whipped cream, or use it as a topper for ice cream or pound cake.


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4 cups pitted bing cherries*
1/2 cup red wine*
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
~ best-quality vanilla ice cream
*Substitute 2 bags of thawed, frozen cherries when fresh are out of season.**Choose an economical drinking wine, not a “cooking wine.”


  1. Combine the cherries, wine, and sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan set over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a medium simmer and cook until the cherries soften.
  3. Whisk the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until smooth.
  4. Add the cornstarch to the cherries and cook, stirring, for a minute or two, until the liquid thickens.
  5. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
  6. Serve warm.



Preparation Time: 
Approximately 25–30 minutes.