Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cherry Chutney

Is it dessert or is it a condiment?  After thoroughly enjoying it a little at a time over the last couple of days I'm still not sure.  What I am positive about however is that it was easy to throw together, its tasty and very very interesting.

 Though I'm not sure what the original recipe has in mind I'm going to go along with the idea that this is mostly likely a dessert because I've liked it a lot after dinner with a scoop of whiskey flavored ice cream on top.  The ice cream was an experiment that went wrong in the texture department as it froze but is still tasty enough on top of other things.  The sweetness of the ice cream gives the cherry and vinegar combination enough kick in the dessert direction.  Originally this recipe calls for some tangy cheese as a topping which sounds intriguing and would probably bring this back over into the condiment/side dish category.

Which ever way you do it this is a very unique treat.  I was lazy and used frozen cherries rather than pitting endless cherries for this recipe and I can't taste any downside to the laziness.  I'm also cheap so rather than using a fresh vanilla bean I fished one out of my homemade vanilla and used part of that boozy goodness to make the chutney which I recommend.  But then I condone adding alcohol to most things. 

Cherry Chutney

3 cups (or 400 grams) red cherries, pits removed
3 cloves
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 dried Szechuan pepper, crushed up a bit
3 tablespoons fruit vinegar (I used raspberry and fig vinegars from Vom Fass)
1 vanilla bean, scraped

In a medium size pot over medium heat mix cherries, cloves, agave nectar, Szechuan pepper.  Cover and let cook for 5-10 minutes or  until the cherries start to soften and turn into a jam like consistency. Add vinegar and reduce liquid for an additional 5-7 minutes. When the cherries are soft and look like a jam remove mixture from the heat, let it cool and serve in small bowls.  Serve topped with ice cream, whipped cream or some tart crumbly cheese.

Recipe adapted from one at the Citron and Vanille Blog.

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