Luke asked me for chocolate cheesecake with cherry topping a little while back and I just happened to have about a pound of fresh cherries that were going to go bad if I didn't use them. He was a bit skeptical about me improvising a recipe for homemade cherry topping, or sauce, but by the time it was finished he decided it was all right and we should do it again for a pie sometime!
This is a really easy recipe that you can do with tons of different fruits. You can also adjust the spices or alcohol for different flavors! I used it on top of chocolate cheesecake, but it would be great in cherry pie or turnovers as well. I've made it with blueberries and used nutmeg, ginger and cloves and then mixed the blueberry sauce with peaches and baked it into a pie. Just adjust the amounts for different weights of fruit. (For example, when I did it with blueberries, I had about 6 oz. and used 1/8 c. sugar instead of 1/3 c.) The measurements are semi-approximate, because you can adjust depending on taste. Enjoy!
Pit 1 pound of cherries. (See below for a tip!) Put in a medium saucepan and add 1/3 c. sugar, 2 to 4 T. rum, about 1/3 to 1/2 c. water and pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer vigorously until the sauce has thickened and reduced.
Cherry pitting tip: I don't have a cherry pitter and I really don't like buying kitchen tools that only do one thing. I tried using a knife and it didn't work too well, and then I remembered something I'd seen on Food Network (pretty sure it was Alton Brown) that said to unbend a paper clip so that it has two bent sections and use the bigger side of the paper clip to go around the pit of the cherry. It pops right out! Oh, and make sure the paper clip is clean, of course.