Skip to main content
Inside Market Hall

5 Ways to Use Basque Cherry Jam

08 July 2024

Spoonable, pourable and luscious La Maison du Piment Black Cherry Jam is one of our favorite French pantry staples. Hailing from the Northern Basque Country, this preserve is made with cerises noires, a black cherry varietal grown and harvested near the village of Itxassou. Made simply with cane sugar, lemon juice and pectin in the traditional manner, the cherries' sweet-tart flavor and luxurious texture shine. In France, the jam is often used as the filling in Gâteau Basque, but it's incredibly versatile and can be used in so many sweet and savory ways. Market Hall Foods Retail Director Juliana Uruburu shares her five favorites ways to use Basque cherry jam. 

Cherries and cheese

Pair Basque cherry jam with any French Basque sheep's milk cheese, such as Ossau-Iraty, Secret de Compostelle and Tomme brûlée. The nuttiness from the sheep's milk is a perfect complement to the intense fruitiness of the cherries. Feel free to go beyond the borders of the Basque country when picking a cheese accompaniment. This jam is versatile enough to pair with Alpine, blue and any wrinkly creamy delights.

Cherries and chocolate

The natural tartness, sweetness and juiciness of cherries perfectly balance the rich, deep notes of chocolate, creating a harmonious pairing that makes for an unforgettable dessert experience. Basque cherries elevate any cocoa-based dessert, but here are two suggestions: Add the jam to a silky pudding made with Valrhona chocolate or layered in a German chocolate cake for an extra pop of fruitiness. 

Cherries and cocktails & mocktails

Take your mixology game to new heights by spooning Basque cherry jam into your cocktail shaker when making a Manhattan or Old Fashioned, or stirring it into a homemade soda. The rich, luxurious syrup not only enhances a drink's texture but blends seamlessly and infuses a delightful, vibrant burst of cherry flavor into every sip. 

Cherries and savory sauces

Nothing elevates a show-stopping roast like a luxurious sauce. Here is one of our go-to recipes: After removing your roast (beef, pork, or lamb) from the pan, deglaze your pan with red wine, scraping up all the flavorful browned bits that have caramelized on the bottom. Next, add demi-glace and stir in Basque cherry jam, which brings richness, acidity and a balanced sweet note that beautifully complements the savory quality of meat. Allow the mixture to simmer, so that all elements integrate into a cohesive, flavorful sauce. Finally, whisk in a big knob of butter to create a silky, glossy texture that coats your dish with a tantalizing sheen.

Cherries and ice cream

Basque cherry jam is an ideal add-in or topping for ice cream. The jam's high sugar content helps the cherries maintain a chewy tender consistency when frozen, which means it makes a great addition to homemade ice cream. Try mixing it with chocolate, vanilla or pistachio ice cream. Or, spoon the jam onto any store-bought ice cream for a delectable sundae.