My friend, Fanny, has lived in many countries abroad and brought home recipes with her. She sent me this recipe (and her photo) of a fresh cherry compote that she serves over her Swiss Milk Soup (listed in recipes or by keyword search) ~ but her other suggested ways to serve it is over ice cream, pancakes, rice pudding, pound cake... or just about anything!
1-1/2 pounds Bing cherries, stemmed, cut in half & seeds removed
3 cups Sugar
1 Vanilla bean, split in half
3/4 cup Water
1 TB Fresh lemon juice
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large heavy saucepan; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until cherries are softened and start to release juices, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cherries to a medium heatproof bowl.
Simmer juices until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 15–20 minutes. Pour reduced syrup over cherries. Serve warm.
In a heavy medium-size saucepan (preferable not metal), put a layer of 1/2 the cherries and spread a layer of 1/2 the sugar. Place the vanilla bean over the sugar and cover with rest of the cherries and sugar. Put the saucepan aside for almost 1 hour and allow the cherries to macerate.
Pour in water and bring cherries to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Then simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken and skim off any surface scum. Stir in the lemon juice and turn off the heat. Discard the vanilla bean and allow the compote to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until serving time.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Over ice cream * over a rectangle of cream cheese with crackers (appetizer) * over Swiss RICE MILK SOUP or RICE PUDDING ** add 1-2 TB to Waldorf Salad * Add 1-2 TB to sweet bread and muffin batter * Top a cheesecake, or use as a sauce over pound cake