Ciliegie in Vino Rosso con Panna Montata (Cherries in Red Wine with Whipped Cream)

Like cherries, I love fruits and vegetables that absolutely 100% have a season.…they come and then they go. Their brevity makes them a taste to be savored and a time celebrated. We make…we eat...and then we wait in anticipation for them to return the following season, dreaming of what will be created the next time around. Will it be something new….or an old favorite that makes us feel like a kid again? There is something special about it this that speaks to us. The excitement of enjoying a dish or dessert that we have been waiting to eat for months feeds our souls and not just our bodies. When we know it is only a passing moment in time, we are more apt to slow down and not take it for granted and we are more inspired to share the experience with others. And in this we feel more whole and in touch with people, life and time. On one hand I love being able to get most fruits and vegetables whenever I like, and really there isn’t a shopping trip that goes by that I don’t appreciate beautiful organics at my fingertips….but on the other hand I can’t help but recognize how special it is when something has it’s moment in the spotlight…and the delight we feel in savoring it. These cherries in red wine are the perfect way to enjoy this fruits moment in the sun and this season.

Cherries and Childhood Memories

Continued from my post Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup - Childhood Memories & Grown up Cocktails

Growing by the back corner of our house (I’m pretty sure from a pit someone threw on the ground) was a small cherry tree. I watched it grow from a small little tree of just a few feet tall to a tree that touched the roof. I also watched it not produce and not produce for what seemed like years. And then one year it finally decided to make just enough cherries for me to make my first ever cherry pie. I remember the excitement I had picking the cherries…I was maybe 9 or 10 and I remember standing on a chair to get the ones high up. My creative little heart was overjoyed at the idea and the chance to make something…and of course probably at the idea of eating it too! It turned out to be a beautiful little pie and even now I can still remember what it looked like sitting on our kitchen table when it was done :) But although it was beautiful…and the cherries looked lovely from what I can remember, they weren’t quite so perfect, because after having eaten half the pie (not alone) I discovered that almost every single one had a small worm inside. Looking back now I have no idea how I didn’t notice this before! Did I make the pie without pitting the cherries? Did I just not know what I was looking at? I remember picking the cherries, I remember the pie after it was baked, and I remember eating it, but the rest is blurry. I do remember that after the worm discovery I was done with that particular pie….but not done with my love for cherries, thankfully..…and every summer I anticipate their arrival at the market. I can’t wait to get back home to place them in a pretty bowl on the counter in the sunshine….and then maybe take a picture :) They are such a special treat to me and eating them reminds me to slow down, enjoy the little things in life with the ones I love, and maybe to reminisce a little about summertimes (and cherry pies) past.

Cherries in Italian red wine with whipped cream

For being just 5 simple ingredients that put this whole dessert together, you would never guess the depth and complexity it contains. As I sat with my husband eating it, we both couldn’t help but say “wow”! The flavors are so unique and indulgent feeling….you can’t help but have a smile on your face after every bite. It is elegant enough to serve at fancy dinner party but rustic and simple enough to go great at a family picnic or BBQ.

  • 1 lb sweet cherries pitted and sliced or whole or both

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 1/4 cups full bodied red wine

  • 1 strip of orange peel - 3/4 inch by 3 inch

  • 1 cup heavy cream

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, wine and orange peel. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 min. Add the cherries and simmer for 10 min or until cherries are tender. Take off the heat and let cool completely.

In a mixer fitted with a whip, beat the heavy cream until desired consistency…taking care not to over whip.

Serve cherries chilled or at room temp with a scoop of whipped cream. And maybe a glass of the rest of that open bottle of wine :)

Serves 4 to 6

Buon Appetito!