Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rolling Stone Fruit

Reppin' my hispter cred.
Taoism instructs that there cannot be beauty without ugliness, light without dark. Without suffering, one cannot experience joy. For me the sneezing, stuffy months of March, April and May are about to pay a big dividend.

As spring transitions into summer, the same trees that are the bane of those of us with allergies begin to bear fruit. This is great news for makers of pies, tarts and Manhattans everywhere.

They say life isn't a bowl of cherries. I beg to differ - life is pretty awesome, and so are the various stone fruits that will be coming out soon.

But don't take my word on it. Kim Gordon's tee shirt says it all.*

Extra-credit hipsterism: 180 gram vinyl collectors edition of Sonic Youth's "Dirty." Yep.
[ * Is that a yawn or something more lurid? All we know is Kim Gordon is rad. Chowbacca! loves you, Kim. Keep rockin'. ]

Cherries Compote:

  • 1 pound of cherries, pitted.
  • 1 cup of sucanat or turbinado sugar (or roughly 3/4 cup of agave or brown rice syrup).
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest plus a small amount for garnish.
  • 1/2 cup of water.

Macerate cherries in sugar and zest for about an hour, covered, at room temperature.

Simmer with water for 20 minutes over medium-high heat until the mixture turns "napé": bubbles will become larger and inflate and pop more slowly due to the viscosity of the liquid.

Cover and cool, transfer to a glass jar or use immediately (great on scones!). Use a base for gastriques and meat sauces (deglaze a meat "fond"* with wine or brandy, add compote and mount with butter and herbs). Serve on ice cream. Mix with booze and serve on ice cream to impress that special someone (or, you know, yourself. You deserve it, you're special too!).

Sweet, savory, naughty and nice, the cherry is an equal opportunity accoutrement; David Bowie-esque in it's range and androgyny.

[ * Fond, French, noun: "le fond du cuisine", the base, foundation. Caramelized bits of sugar, fat and protein from meat left in a pan from pan searing. Soluble in water, alcohol or acid. "The good stuff," the base of your sauce. ]