Cherry compote

From Curye on Inglish 1390

Source from Goode Cookery

For to make chireseye

Tak chiryes at þe feast of Seynt Iohn þe Baptist, & do awey þe stonys. Grynd hem in a morter, & after frot hem wel in a seue so þat the ius be wel comyn owt; & do þan in a pot & do þerein feyre gres or botor & bred of wastel ymyid, & of sugur a god perty, & a porcioun of wyn. & wan it is wel ysodyn & ydessyd in dyschis, stik þerin clowis of gilofre & strew þeron sugur.

For to make cherries

Take cherries at the feast of St. John the Baptist [mid June] and do away the stones. Grind them [the cherries I presume] in a mortar and after rub them well in a sieve so that the juice be well come out and do then in a pot and do therein fair grease or butter, and bread of wastel minced and of sugar a good part and a portion of wine and when it is well cooked and dressed in dishes stick therin clove flowers and strewn theron sugar.

Recipe

1 liter of tart cherry juice
1 Tbsp butter (optional for vegan and dairy-free versions)
1 c. red wine
6 Tbsp sugar (more or less to taste)
3/4 tsp. powder fine
1/4 c. breadcrumbs
5 slices whole-grain bread

Simmer the juice, wine and butter together. Add sugar, adjusting to taste preferences. The amount above takes the edge off of the tart juice, but not completely. I added powder fine to the recipe because I wanted to — I thought the flavors would make the dish more interesting. I don’t regret the choice – I really like this dish as a dessert.

I starting adding breadcrumbs a tablespoon at a time until I realized it was going to take a heckuva long time so I tore up bread slices in very small pieces, then fine-tuned with a couple more tablespoons of breadcrumbs. I was satisfied when it got to applesauce consistency, though it would be interesting to take this more to a full-fledged bread pudding texture.

I can see where dressing it up with a flower and sugar would make it more appealing on the eyeballs — it looks a little scary as-is! It was tasty warm (which I think is the Medieval implication) but also cold, making it a pretty versatile potluck dish.

I know this isn’t a true compote, but it’s close enough I think for modern diners. “Cherry pudding” implies a smooth and creamy texture today, so compote better matches this dish.

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