I never did find the sour cherries, but I did get a boatload of sweet cherries and made two kinds of sauces. The whole cherry sauce I served over ice cream (vanilla or peach), on pound cake, and on lemon yogurt; the puree I used to offset the sweetness of a Blueberry Mascarpone tart.
- 4 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- 3/4 cup water
- 2/3 cup sugar (taste the berries and adjust accordingly)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons cognac (optional)
Combine everything in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil and let it boil for 5- 10 minutes. Let it cool completely. For the whole cherry sauce just cover it and refrigerate until ready to use (it has more flavor at room temperature). Keeps in the refrigerator for about a week.
For a smooth cherry sauce, puree the sauce in a Cuisinart until there are no chunks of cherry at all. It will still not be totally smooth. Strain the sauce with a fine mesh strainer – then it will be smooth, and a beautiful shade of red. Keeps in the refrigerator for about a week, and freezes beautifully.