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14 June 2014

Slow-Roasted Cherries with Brandy & Balsamic Vinegar

It's summer when the fruits & vegetables start to paint rainbows in the market stalls. The visual effect of vibrancy of hues creates excitement of the first peak of summer. I tend to be easily swept by the collective beauty of fresh harvests so most often, I end up getting more than what I need. When I say that I'm just going to buy a few lemons, don't trust me because I will go out of the market with more bags than I can handle.

My planned lemons started to branch out to peaches, apricots, different kinds of berries and these cherries from Vignola. You see, the cherries (I think they are moretta) from that town of Italy are more succulent and sweeter than the other varieties I've tried. My kids are also crazy about these certain cherries. They can easily finish a pack of half a kilo between them in just a few minutes. The last time I bought a pack, the cherries didn't make it to the recipe I was planning because they were intercepted by both kids.

With more packs this time to give them and to cook with, I was able to pit and stash them in the baking dish. Initially, I was all set for my favorite recipe using the black cherries. Clafoutis is a French flan-like baked dessert that I learned to make in in the south of France two years ago. But at the last minute, I changed my mind and thought of making something new using the aged balsamic vinegar I have in the cupboard. It was time to use them again in a new recipe.

I decided to roast them slowly for two hours in the oven in medium temperature. In the past, I made a recipe of Slow-Roasted Tomatoes and I used a similar method but with a higher temperature to cut the time from 3 hours to just 2 because it was too hot in the kitchen!

The balsamic vinegar and brandy created a concentrated flavor that's reminiscent of grapes mixed with the juice of the cherries. The first thing I thought of is to top some vanilla ice cream with them. It was heavenly. I was also planning to try them as topping for plain yogurt but we finished them before I could even get the yogurt. Like the ice cream, I am sure it will be delicious as well. I am going to make another batch again this week to serve with ice cream to our dinner guests. I can't wait to eat them again!

If you are planning to make this recipe, try to use succulent sweet black cherries and aged balsamic vinegar to attain good flavors. The result was just perfectly sweet for me but if you are using cherries that are not so sweet, you can add a tablespoon more of sugar to compensate for the lack of sweetness from the cherries.

Slow-Roasted Cherries with Brandy & Balsamic Vinegar


  • 500 grams (2 cups) cherries, pitted (preferably black cherries)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I used Monari Federzoni's IGP Invecchiato Etichetta Oro)
    Monari Federzoni balsamic vinegar (Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP Invecchiato Etichetta Oro) - See more at:
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar (you can add 1 tablespoon more if the cherries you are using are not so sweet)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees C (325 degrees F).
  2. Place the cherries in a flat baking dish.
  3. With the use of a spoon and fork, mix the balsamic vinegar, brandy and sugar well with the cherries. 
  4. Bake the cherries in the middle rack for 2 hours. Mix the cherries a few times while cooking.
  5. When they are cooked, you can transfer them to a sealed glass container and keep in the refrigerator for about 4 days. Use it as sauce for ice cream, yogurt, pancakes, etc.