An extremely popular dessert in Greece is a preserve made from assorted fruits. These are known as spoon sweets and they are not spread on bread, but rather served on their own as a dessert. This cherry preserve boils the cherries in sugar and water until a thick syrup is formed. The almonds are roasted and then tossed with the spoon dessert when ready to serve (keeps them crunchy).
5 cups sour cherries
3 cups sugar*
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon roasted almond slivers
Remove the pits from the sour cherries by squeezing the cherry to pop out the pit. Alternatively, you can use a pit remover. Place all the cherries in a pot and mix with the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a slow boil and reduce until thickened and syrupy (the cherries will release quite a bit of liquid so you do not need to add water).
Toast the almonds until golden brown and crumble over the preserve to serve.
Makes 3 cups of preserve. Stored in an airtight container, this preserve will last for quite some time. I keep the sealed jars in the refrigerator and have used them up to one year later. (*Note: I do not like to lose the tangy taste of the cherries and keep the sugar content lower than the traditional one to one ratio. If you prefer the dessert much sweeter, then add more sugar).