Spoon sweets are a Greek dessert made from all kinds of fruits, nuts and even cherry tomatoes or tiny eggplants. They are traditionally served on a plate along with a glass of ice water or retsina. Sadly, I have never been to Greece and experienced this tradition first hand, although I hope to get there within the next few years! In the meantime, I will continue to bring Greece to me – at least in the kitchen.
This recipe is adapted from one found in Diane Kochilas’ cookbook, The Food and Wine of Greece. Ms. Kochilas has written several Greek cookbooks and I own most of them. If you appreciate Greek food you will want to check out her books too. The dessert is somewhere between a runny jam and candied or glacéed cherries. Although it is sweet, it is not as sugary on your tongue as you would expect. It’s also a rather refreshing end to a great meal, just a touch of sweet and not a heavy, rich dessert.
- 1 1/4 pounds of sweet cherries
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Pit the cherries and leave them whole. Combine the sugar and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cherries and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
The next day, remove the cherries from the syrup and set aside. Simmer syrup until it reaches 230 degrees. Add cherries and lemon juice. Continue simmering until the syrup and cherries bind, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Spoon mixture into a 1 quart jar and refrigerate. Serve as above or over ice cream or chocolate cake.