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

500g cherries
100g sugar
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.


Join our newsletter

Check in here for updates on our cherry season on our Mudgee orchard. Find out when we are opening the farm for you to visit to pick-your-own or buy your cherries ready to go. And we'll share recipes and ideas for all those cherries.

© Roth Family Orchard   by TIEMENS CRƎATIVE