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Indian, Italian, Japanese
 Drunken Cherries with Orange Blossom Chenna Recipe-8040

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


This simple dessert is based on the pairing of fresh milk cheese with three of my favorite flavors: cherries, orange blossom, and sake. Chances are you’ve never had a dessert made with both sake and balsamic vinegar. The convergence of three great culinary traditions—Indian, Italian, and Japanese—in one mouthful is fusion at its best.

Yield: Makes 8 servings


Orange blossom chenna:

  • 1 1/3 cups (15 ounces/425 grams) chenna
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (3½ ounces/100 grams) sour cream
  • 1/3 cup (2½ ounces/70 grams) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons orange blossom water
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Drunken cherries:

  • 2 pounds (907 grams) cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise in half, seeds scraped out, and seeds and pod reserved, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces/56 grams) sake
  • ¼ cup (1 1/8 ounces/31 grams) shelled pistachios, toasted and salted, for garnish


1. To make the chenna: Lightly mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until combined. Cover and refrigerate.

2. To make the drunken cherries: Put all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours; do not let sit overnight.

3. To serve, remove the vanilla bean, and divide the cherries and the juices among 8 dishes. Top with the chenna, garnish with the pistachios and orange zest, and serve.


CHEF’S TIPS: You can buy chenna in Indian markets or strain all the liquid out of fresh ricotta cheese, through a fine-mesh sieve as a substitute.

You can make both the chenna and cherries ahead of time and assemble the dessert just before serving.

© 2007 Pichet Ong

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

268kcal (13%)
146mg (15%)
10mg (17%)
90mcg RAE (3%)
34mg (11%)
201mg (8%)
6g (31%)
11g (17%)
1mg (5%)

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