A few people have asked me for this recipe. Any Dane knows it well as the traditional Danish Christmas dessert is this cherry sauce served over a rice and almond and cream pudding (risalamande). There’s one whole almond in the pudding and whoever is lucky enough to find that wins .. traditionally the prize is a marzipan pig!
It’s perhaps the most important cherry recipe for my family as it’s been an important part of our Christmas as long as I can remember. As my siblings and I each married and started our own families this is a tradition that has stayed for our family Christmas – that and the caramel potatoes as we all agree they are too tasty to miss. As kids our Mum would use a can of cherries to make the sauce. Since becoming a cherry grower I of course make it from our own cherries – and it does taste so much better. I’ll be busy soon pitting cherries to make this sauce for our family Christmas, and I’ll preserve a few extra jars for later in the year. There are quite a lot of us in the family now and everyone loves this sauce so it may be a triple batch this year.
Kirsebær sovs is also delish over icecream, pancakes or pannacotta.
I prefer to make it from really fresh cherries of a variety with a strong flavour – for me that’s usually Simones or Vans. Lapins and Stella would also be good.
KIRSEBÆR SOVS Danish cherry sauce
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean
2-3 strips orange rind
2 tbsp potato flour or arrowroot
Optional 1/2 cup port or 1/4 cup brandy or 1/2 cup Pieter van Gent winery Vermouth
Pit cherries, reserving stones.
Place in saucepan with sugar and spices. Just cover with water* (~1 cup) and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Simmer 2-3 minutes.
Add port, PVG vermouth or brandy to taste and bring back to a simmer.
At this step you can either bottle it hot in sterilised jars to keep for months or thicken to a sauce.
To thicken the sauce: Mix the flour to a paste with a few tablespoons of water. Remove cherries from heat and stir in the flour paste, return to heat for 2-3 minutes but do not let it boil.
Pour into a serving dish and allow to cool.
* Using cherry juice in place of water gives a really intense cherry flavour.
To give a slightly bitter ‘almondy’ edge my grandmother would add the kernels from the stones when bottling. She dried the stones in the oven, then smashed them in a dry tea-towel, picking out the kernels to add to the cherries.
If you’ve missed the fresh cherries, a jar of our Cherries in Cinnamon & Orange or Cherries in Vermouth can be used.
Wishing you a very happy christmas.