Sour Cherry Sauce—and a Yummy Breakfast Parfait

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Very soon, the sour cherries will make their fleeting appearance at local farmer’s markets. If we are lucky, they will be out for two to three weeks. If you see them, grab as many as you can, and plan to spend the afternoon or evening pitting them and making the most beautiful magenta/hot pink cherry sauce, which you can use for pies, dessert sauces, or my favorite, breakfast!

This sauce is extremely easy to make…once the cherries have been pitted. But pitting them is a lot of messy work, so grab your kids, pull a stool up to the counter or a chair to the kitchen table, and make it a family affair. Or take a look at the cherry pitter posted in my store! The raw cherries are so sour you don’t don’t worry about people eating so many that you won’t have a good batch for cooking.

Here is my recipe for Sour Cherry Sauce:


Sour cherries (as many as you can find)
Water (enough to fill the pan to a depth of 1 inch)
Sugar (¼ cup per cup of cherries, or to taste)


1. Either with a cherry pitter or by hand, remove pits from the washed sour cherries. Make sure the insides are yellow, not brown, and that there are no little visitors, such as little white cherry worms, inside.

2. Put the sour cherries in a saucepan with about 1 inch of water in the bottom.

3. For every cup of cherries, add ¼ cup of sugar—or add sugar to taste. Sour cherries are naturally tart, so to keep the tartness, add less sugar.

4. Cook uncovered on the stovetop for about 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat. Eat the finished sauce fresh on ice cream or yogurt, or freeze it to use later for pies or sauces. If you want to make a pie, freeze the sauce in a big jar. But if you want to enjoy it in a breakfast parfait, freeze small servings in little jars.

Breakfast Parfait with Sour Cherry Sauce

(Serves one)

½ cup organic Greek yogurt
1/3 cup sour cherry sauce
Handful of toasted slivered or sliced almonds


1. Put the yogurt in a bowl or cup.

2. Put the sauce on top and the almonds on top of that.

3. Devour!

I like to pull out a jar of sour cherry sauce for Christmas dessert. It’s a very special taste of summer to remind us during the darkest days of winter that there will be sour cherries on the other side when summer comes again.

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3 Responses to Sour Cherry Sauce—and a Yummy Breakfast Parfait

  1. maria (farm country kitchen) June 20, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    first batch of sour cherries are cooking on the stove. I need to get another cherry pitter since even the three year old wanted to help pit cherries! Later today, on vanilla ice cream. Yum!

  2. Deeba May 10, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    This sounds absolutely delicious. Found it just in time for cherry season! Thanks for sharing it Maria!

  3. loric July 31, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    i don’t mean to be a downer, but this sauce recipe did not work at all for me. i planned to use two cups of cherries and save the rest for a pie, but the sauce was so watery that i had to keep adding cherries. after adding six cups of cherries it was still way too watery, so i had to add cornstarch to thin it.

    “an inch of water” and “as many cherries as you can find” don’t really constitute measurements. please delete the sauce recipe until you can measure the ingredients and post a real recipe…

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