Sour cherry season is short, but sweet… or sour… or whatever. So much to do with these little morsels of yumminess in so little time. Canning sour cherry compote to serve as a base for sauces to be lovingly spooned over duck and pork throughout the remainder of the year is one priority. Another is to slurp as much meggyleves — the borscht-like Hungarian chilled sour cherry soup — as humanly possible.
Need a recipe? Try this adaptation.
600 g sour cherries
1 l water
1/2 c sugar
1 cinnamon stick
generous sprig of fresh thyme
1 t flour, disolved in water
250 ml white wine
big pinch salt
1 cup sour cream, plus some to dollop as garnish
* All measurements are best-guesses, since I don’t really measure.
1. Pit the cherries.
2. Simmer the cherries in the syrup (water, sugar, cinnamon, thyme) for 10 minutes or so.
3. Add thickening agent (disolved flour), wine, and salt. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
4. Pluck the cinnamon and thyme. Whisk some of the liquid into the sour cream to temper, then incorporate smoothly, lumplessly into the mix.
6. Serve with a dollop of sour cream — not pictured in my crappy, afterthought-of-a-mobile-phone-photo, above.
Most recipes I’ve seen use red wine, if they call for any wine at all. I totally get it; but you’ll produce a crisper, more summery soup with a white wine. You can play with the finish by varietal selection, choosing a sweet Gewürztraminer, an oaky Chardonay, a brittle Sauvignon Blanc, or whatever suits your desire of the moment.
Thyme rocks the soup, providing an herbal bridge between the sweet and sour, and building on the sophistication that starts with the addition of the wine.
Serves eight. Or one.