Sweet Basque Cherry Confit
Whole Black Cherries from French Basque Country
From the Basque region of northern France (home of the beloved Piment d’Espelette) come luscious, tender cherries in a light, pourable syrup. Traditionally used as the filling for the flaky double-crust tart called Gâteau Basque, Sweet Basque Cherry Confit is also delicious as an accompaniment for Basque sheep’s milk cheeses such as Ossau-Iraty. It’s also phenomenal on hot buttermilk biscuits or scones with clotted cream, in mini tart shells with mascarpone, as a topping for cheesecake or vanilla ice cream, or mixed with a bit of balsamic vinegar for a sauce to accompany roasted duck breast.
This fantastic, flavorful artisan fruit preserve is made with rare cerises noires (black cherries) harvested near the village of Itxassou in the French Basque Country. Modern demands for higher yield fruit have diminished production of this unique cherry from three hundred tons in the 1920s to little more than three tons today, so this small production cherry confit truly offers a taste of times gone by. Made with only cherries, cane sugar, lemon juice and pectin, what stands out is the unadulterated sweet-tart flavor and luxurious texture of cherries.
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