Cerises-chéries – Extravagances de chutney de cerises en verrines à l’Etorki

Cherries are finally in season and this house is a red fruit mad house, red fruits are all over, even on the rug, towels, and walls! I think in between the strawberries and the cherries, there must be about 15 lbs of those red beauties in the refrigerator. Enzo the dog and Lilou the parrotlet have been on a red fruit diet too like everyone else…I think there will be more cherry and strawberry recipes in the next coming days, for those who have a berry fetish like we do have here.

Cherry soup is a popular sweet and regional peasant soup served as a dessert where I grew up, mostly in a mountainy region called Les Vosges, it’s basically a ski area, with lots of farms and cabins, ski resorts, and many rustic restaurant offer it on their menu. The cherries are cooked in a red wine, sugar and vanilla with a flour base sauce. Due to the quantity of cherries, I might feature this one in the next coming days.

I have been entertaining lately therefore experimenting many cold soups served in verrines. I love small verrines, they make such cute and fun little appetizers. When you have tons of cherries like I do, chutneys or soups are wonderful, and call it a coincidence, but I found this deliciously pungent Basque cheese called Etorki, it’s a sheep cheese that is traditionally served in the Basque region (Pays Basque) with cherry jam as a tasting (en dégustation), so that was a no brainer, those dark cherries would turn into a jam or chutney and served with Etorki. That sweet-salty cherry chutney and Etorki cheese are simply a magic match.

Ingredients for 4 small verrines

  • 400 g red cherries, pits removed
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 3 tbs raspberry vinegar
  • 3 cloves
  • vanilla powder (or 1 vanilla bean scraped)
  • Szechuan pepper


In a medium size pot, mix cherries with cloves, sugar, Szechuan pepper, cover it and let the mixture cook for 5-10 min at medium heat, until the cherries start to soften and turn into a jam. Add vinegar and reduce for an additional 5-7 minutes. At this point, the cherries are soft and look like a jam.

Remove from the heat, let it cool and serve in small verrines, with some etorki cheese on top.