800g firm ripe red cherries, pitted
1 cinnamon stick
300ml cherry juice or light-bodied red wine
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
6 x 3cm thick slices LOAF Perfect Lemon Loaf
Softened butter, for spreading
Whipped cream (optional), to serve
Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus cooling time
Cooking time: 15 minutes
1. Combine the cherries, cinnamon, juice (or wine) and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover then cook for 4-5 minutes or until the cherries are just softened, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Strain the mixture, reserving the cooking liquid and discarding the cinnamon, then return the liquid to the pan and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until reduced and thickened slightly. Combine with the cherries in a bowl and stand until cooled to room temperature.
2. Spread the slices of lemon loaf very lightly with butter. Heat a char-grill plate or large, heavy-based frying pan over medium-low heat then add the slices, in batches, and cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until lightly charred or toasted. Divide among bowls or plates, spoon cherry compote over then serve with whipped cream passed separately, if using.