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Cheeryble Cherry Sauce

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Total palate recall may be less than perfect, but this cherry sauce—served up with baked ham at many a memorable holiday meal during my childhood—comes close. Though my mother has long since lost the original recipe, here's a happy (and quickly whipped up!) approximation that satisfied even my discriminating siblings at this year's family Christmas party. Serve it warm with anything from ham and pork roast to ice cream or French toast.

In keeping with our Dickens Christmas, we've christened it after two of Dickens' most delightful characters, the Cheeryble brothers, from Nicholas Nickleby.

Cheeryble Cherry Sauce
(Recipe may be doubled or tripled)

1 cup cold water
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup cane sugar
1 pound frozen pitted sweet cherries, thawed
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon almond extract
Grated rind of 1 small orange
Juice of 1 small orange

In a large saucepan, stir together the water, cornstarch and sugar over medium heat. As the mixture warms add the cherries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves, and bring the sauce to a boil stirring frequently. Allow the sauce to boil, stirring constantly, until thickened—a minute or two—then remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the extract, orange rind and juice.

Tags: 2010, Christmas, Holidays, Recipes by Nancy Young

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