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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cherry Sauce Test

Tonight I did not feel like getting out there and firing up the kettle. But, I wanted to try a new idea for a sauce. I had about half a pound of fresh cherries to work with.  I decided to start with boiling the cherries in a quart of water with spices. Then I added some cider vinegar and a little more water to top up the pot to about half a gallon, this was boiled to reduce again by half, to create a syrup. After the syrup was boiled down by half, I decided it needed to be a little bit thicker, so I cooked some cornstarch slurry and added a tablespoon to thicken the sauce a little.

I had seasoned some chicken thighs with a quick home made rub, trying to keep the flavors simple. There may have been too much chile, which affected the ability to taste the sauce in some bites.  I was able to find some chicken that did not have the chile pepper fortunately.

Here is the chicken, on the left is glazed with the sauce in the oven, then sauced upon removal. The chicken on the right was glazed in the oven but not sauced after removal. just checking to see if it would shine.
Here is a close up of the chicken and a splash of the sauce to show the color of the sauce on a white background.  It had a nice red color and a very nice profile, it had a very nice balance of sweet and sour flavors. I think I will be able to use this on meats that I grill with Asian profiled rubs quite well.

Cherry Sauce
1/2 pound cherries, unpitted, stemmed
1 quart water
2 star anise whole
5 whole cloves
8 whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
Bring all ingredients except cherries to a boil, add crushed cherries to boiling water and boil uncovered until reduced by half. Drain and squeeze cherries to remove all liquid. Return to pot.

1 quart water
1 pint cider vinegar
1/8 cup brown sugar
Bring pressed cherry sauce to boil, add water, sugar and vinegar to pot and reduce at simmer by 1/4 to 1/2 fluid volume. Determine if the sauce has the appropriate consistency, if not, add two tablespoons corn starch to 1 pint of water and bring to boil for two to three minutes, add a little at a time to thicken sauce while on simmer. Remove when a little thinner than desired as it will thicken as it cools.


  1. I love the idea of a cherry sauce with anise and cloves and black pepper. I imagine the flavor profile getting close to five spice which means it might be really good with duck or on roasted pork.

    I have couple of pounds of cherries in the produce bin and I might try this as a sauce on pork tenderloin. Or I could try a white chocolate and cherry souffle on the KETTLE...