Do you remember the Mark Peel cherry ice cream sauce that I told you made me cry at the Silver Spoons event? That sauce was so incredible that I found myself daydreaming about it a week later. A dish that sticks in your mind like that must be recreated. Now, I’m no Mark Peel, but I figured I should be able to jimmy up a home-style version that would appease my craving. Oh people, I wish I could send each of you a little jar of this divine sauce so you believe me when I say that it may be the best thing I’ve ever made.
How to make Cherry Red Wine Sauce
At the event, I actually had the nerve (ahem, cajones) to ask Mark what was in his cherry sauce. Wine. Vanilla. Star anise. Cherries. Working from that rough outline, I came up with a respectable tribute to his other-worldly original. A good red wine reduction sauce paired with juicy, fresh Bing cherries, freshly scraped vanilla beans and spooned over vanilla ice cream. Say hello to your new Grown Up Ice Cream Sundae.
Rule Number One: Start with a good red wine. You don’t want to reduce the flavor of cheap “cooking” wine and spoon that over ice cream. No, sir. We don’t drink a lot of wine in my house, but I like to have some good wine around to cook with. If you are like me, I suggest buying a four-pack of the small (8 oz) wine bottles (the kind they serve on airplanes) at the liquor store. This allows you to use relatively good wine when cooking and not feel bad about opening a whole bottle that will go to waste.
Remember last summer when I told you to buy a cherry pitter and that you could thank me later? Go ahead, thank me now. You’re going to need a cherry pitter to make this magic happen. I suppose you could use frozen cherries in a pinch, but the fresh ones send this sauce over the top.
You would imagine that in order to create a dish so praise-worthy, that it would take hours of slaving and stewing and preparing, right? This decadent sauce takes a half hour (or less) to make. I kid you not. Make this for your next summer get together and your friends will be raving. They will be demanding the recipe. They will insist that you have been secretly attending culinary school. They will offer to pay you to cook for them. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.
Cherry Red Wine Sauce
- 2 cups red wine
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 pound Bing cherries pitted and halved
- 1 star anise
- 1 vanilla bean
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- – In a medium saucepan, heat the wine and sugar over medium heat, stir with a spatula until the sugar has dissolved.
- – Add cherries and star anise. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape the inside out with a knife. Add the scraped insides and the empty bean to the pot. Bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- – Using a slotted spoon, remove the cherries from the liquid and place in a bowl. Set aside.
- – Bring the remaining liquid to a boil. Let boil until reduced by half, approximately 10-15 minutes.
- – Remove the star anise and vanilla bean. Pour the reduced liquid over the cherries. Spoon over bowls of ice cream, yogurt, pound cake or just serve it with a big spoon!
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