Quick, Cool, and Delicious: Cherries without the pie

A trio of pink hollyhock blossoms

This recipe came about because I intended to make a cherry pie for a farewell dinner, but got home from an out of town trip later than expected and without time to get a pie together.  Instead, I turned the cherries into a sauce to go with the vanilla ice cream I would have served with the pie anyway.

It turned out great and was a hit with the honored guests.  It’s a quick and relatively cool dessert to cook up on a summer evening.  You get the delicious taste of a fresh fruit pie without having the oven on for an hour or so on a hot summer day.  I’ve only tried it with cherries but think that I might have to try the same thing with some other fruit next.

I wish I had a picture of the cherries and the mess that pitting them made all over the kitchen, but we’ll just have to enjoy the hollyhocks instead.  🙂


  • 4-5 cups pitted sour cherries
  • 2/3 cup sugar (more or less to suit your taste; I like mine on the tart side)
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking tapioca
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Place the cherries and sugar in a medium sauce pan and cook over medium heat for several minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Mix the tapioca with 1/2 to 1 cup water and stir into the cherries.
  3. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and cook, stirring frequently for several minutes until it has thickened to a consistency you like (if/when allowed to cool, it will get thicker).
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract and vanilla.
  5. Serve warm over vanilla ice cream.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Lisa G. says:

    This is a good idea – pie crust is something I avoid making for just the two of us. Too much fat!

    1. dwellrichly says:

      Yes. And the crust was never my favorite part of the pie anyway! This saves a few calories and keeps the house cooler. 🙂

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