I’m undecided. I’m undetermined about what dessert to make. I’m wavering about whether to go to the fair this weekend. I’m indecisive about my career path. I’m torn about what book to crack open; I’m vacillating about what to wear; I’m tentative about my next Low-Commitment Project. Not only that, I’m unsure which gutter contractor to hire, borderline about a new bike, and wishy-washy regarding magazine subscriptions.
None of these hesitations and uncertainties consume my thoughts and plague me with worry as much as the one big decision. As much as I may fret over small choices (such as my career path, heh), they don’t compare to the near-permanent, irrevocable commitment of HOUSE PAINT COLOR. We’re in the pressure-washing and scraping and sanding phase right now, and will soon transition into the painting phase. I must decide.
What if our house looks too stodgy? What if the tones are too bright? What if the national park-themed color scheme doesn’t actually look so good on a turn-of-the-century little house? Greens? Blues? Grey with… anything? Aaaaaauuuuuugggghhh.
As it turns out, I’m relieved of one of my options. I just realized I have some of these roasted cherries in the fridge, leftover from earlier in the week, so dessert is covered. Oh man, these are good. I like cherries fresh and raw and pit-spittable just as much as anyone, but I also feel mildly cheated out of dessert when it is simply fruit. I know, I’m no Alice Waters. I want my fruit fancied up or accompanied if you’re going to pass it off as dessert. These roasted cherries are a pure, concentrated form of fruit adulteration. The cherries taste of nothing except even more intense cherry, with a little hit of extra sweet, salt, and pepper.
Eat these over ice cream, atop honey-swirled ricotta, in yogurt, stirred into especially decadent steel-cut oatmeal, crowning a simple cake, tucked under a dollop of whipped cream, scattered across a tart, or slurped from a spoon. Make more than you need so you’ll be blessed by leftovers.
Roasted Cherries (adapted from thekitchn)
Yield: 4-6 servings of cherries to top something. If the cherries are the main event, probably 4 servings
40-50 large, ripe cherries, pitted (Bing cherries look beautifully dramatic for this preparation)
3 Tablespoons turbinado sugar
A couple pinches of sea salt
A few grinds of black pepper
1/2 cup liqueur (choose something fruity or with a fruit-friendly flavor; I used lightly-flavored rhubarb liqueur)
Preheat the oven to 450°. Put the cherries in a large baking dish (I used a 9″ x 13″ glass pyrex baking dish) and add the sugar, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to stir the ingredients around evenly and make sure the cherries are in one layer. Roast the cherries in the oven until they get juicy and the sugar caramelizes a bit, about 10-12 minutes.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and stir the liqueur into the cherry mixture. Return the dish to the oven and bake for about 10 more minutes, until everything is bubbly and juicy. Let the cherries cool in their pan for a few minutes before serving. Don’t forget to scoop up a bit of the sauce when serving the cherries, because it is delicious.
Store extra cherries and sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.