The hardest part of this recipe is removing the pits from the cherries. Use a cherry pitter, cherry stoner, large sewing needle, or — if you have the time — a paper clip to remove the pits. Sour cherry spoon sweet ( aka vyssino glyko tou Koutaliou —in Greek: βύσσινο γλυκό του κουταλιού, pronounced VEE-see-no ghlee-KOH too koo-tal-YOO) is one of the Greek favorites, and it can be served alone with a glass of water, with a cup of Greek coffee or spooned over Greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream.
- 2 3/4 pounds of fresh sour cherries
- 7 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
- 7/8 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- Wash the cherries well.
- Remove stems and pits carefully, keeping cherries intact.
- In a wide pot, lay the cherries in layers, covering each layer with sugar, until all the cherries and all the sugar have been used.
- Set aside for 3 hours.
- Add the water to the pot and bring the cherries and sugar to a boil over high heat. Skim off foam as it rises to the top with a slotted spoon. When the syrup thickens, add the lemon juice and allow to boil for another few seconds. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- When thoroughly cooled, place in airtight glass jars to store.
- To serve, place 2-3 teaspoonfuls of the cherries and syrup on a small plate. Serve alone, with coffee, or as a topping on yogurt, vanilla ice cream, tarts, or other desserts. Sour cherry spoon sweet is always served with a glass of cold water.
Note: If you plan to make Vyssinatha (non-alcoholic cherry cordial) that uses the sour cherry syrup, add an extra 4 cups of sugar to this recipe to increase the quantity of syrup.