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Stuff the cherries, garlic, ginger, and orange zest into a container with a tightly fitting lid and set aside.
In a saucepan or small pot, mix 1 cup water with the apple cider vinegar, distilled white vinegar, sugar, juice from the orange, black peppercorns, turmeric, and cinnamon. Bring the pickling liquid to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 5 minutes. Then remove the pot from the heat and allow the liquid to cool, at least 20 minutes or longer if you are using plastic containers.
When the liquid is lukewarm to the touch, carefully pour it into your container, covering the cherries. If there is not enough liquid, add a bit more apple cider vinegar. And if you have extra cherries, don’t panic. The ones in the container will most likely shrink a little in the hot liquid. So when there’s extra space, go ahead and add the leftover cherries to the container.
Finally, place the lid on the container and close tightly. Give it 5-6 good shakes to mix up all the pickling juices and stick it in the fridge to cool.
In 48 hours, the cherries will be ready for munching. Resist the urge to taste before then, because the longer you wait, the more "pickly" they will be. But do try to finish them off within 2 weeks — which won’t be hard. And serve them on their own; as a complement to a cheese plate (for your salt-eating friends); or as a gift to your next host or hostess.
Mistakes and Low-Sodium Pickled Cherries
And like frittatas, it is something I make with healthy frequency. At least once a day. And that’s probably a generous underestimate. For the frittatas and the mistakes.
As for this latest mishap? It is definitely more embarrassing than misreading the package of Gluten Flour while baking gluten free crumble (which I did last week). But way less disastrous than setting my kitchen oven on fire while making tortillas (which I did last year).
So in terms of the mistake scale, this one is pretty average. And as long as it didn’t get in the way of your BBQ’ing, it is something I can live with.
But here’s the really interesting part: this little miswritten post didn’t end in inedible food nor a visit from the local fire team. In actuality, it led to a lot of emails and comments — friendly of course — from YOU!
One little mis-holiday and all of sudden, there you were. The voices behind the computer. Saying hello. And reminding me to take a look at my calendar next time.
This, my friends, is what I like to call the “power of a mistake”
Sure, cups of spilled sesame seeds, burnt pieces of toast, and cupcakes baked without eggs can lead to mess and disaster. But it can also lead to discovery, both in your cooking and yourself.
In these moments, if you have wit, creativity, and a dust vac handy, the spilled sesame can transform into a crunchy crust for chicken the hardened bread will get softened in pudding and that cake…well, maybe you’ll realize it’s better to give your friend meatballs instead and call it a day.
And like measuring cups and no-salt added tomato sauce, mistakes are an essential ingredient for low-sodium cooking. Because if you’re willing to take on the challenge of salt-free’ing the foods you love, you’ll make missteps and miscalculations and lots of malformed cupcakes. But if you enjoy those mistakes and look for the lesson, than you’ll also end up making things like stove-free pasta and salt-free pickled cherries.
Want more of my mistakes? I’ll be speaking at BlogHerFood 2012 along with Julie Tisner of Bad Home Cooking and Joy Wilson of Joy the Baker on Embracing Imperfections .
LOW-SODIUM PICKLED CHERRIES (or salt-free cocktail “olives”)
- 2 to 3 cups pitted cherries (fresh or frozen, unsweetened)
- 1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly diced
- 1 medium orange, zest grated (or peeled) and juiced
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Stuff the cherries, ginger, and orange zest into your mason jar or container. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, mix 1 cup water with the apple cider vinegar, sugar, juice from the orange, black peppercorns, turmeric, and cinnamon. Bring the pickling liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the liquid to cool, at least 20 minutes or longer if you are using plastic containers.
When the liquid is lukewarm to the touch, carefully pour it into your container, covering the cherries. If there is not enough liquid, add a bit more apple cider vinegar. And if you have extra cherries, don’t panic. The ones in the container most likely will shrink a bit in the hot liquid, so if when there’s extra space, go ahead and add the leftover cherries to the container.
Finally, place the lid on the container and close tightly. Give it 5 or 6 good shakes to mix up all the pickling juices and stick it in the fridge to cool.
In 48 hours, the cherries will be ready for munching. Resist the urge to taste before then, because the longer you wait, the more “pickly” they will be. But do try to finish them off within 2 weeks — which won’t be hard. And serve them on their own or as a compliment to a cheese plate (for your salt-eating friends) or give it as a gift to the host or hostess at your next dinner party.
Savory Salmon Spread with Pickled Cherries
If you are looking for gourmet recipes and you want something easy, then this is the perfect appetizer recipe to dig into!
This savory salmon spread can also be served as a salmon dip if you want to keep the carb count low. Just sprinkle the pickled cherries, chives and salt on top of the whole bowl and place a platter of crudité nearby. The texture is a lot like hummus, but with salmon as the base instead of tahini.
I particularly like this spread on crisp WASA breads, though. There is just something special about that healthy crunch backing up these savory canapés!
Feel free to make this easy salmon spread in advance to save time if you plan to serve it at a dinner party. Keep it in an airtight container (with the cherries and chives in separate bags) until ready to serve.
- white vinegar 1 1/2 cup 1 1/2 cup
- black peppercorns 1 tsp 1 tsp
- coriander seeds 1 tsp 1 tsp
- dried dill (or 2 Tbsps. fresh dill) 1 tbsp 1 tbsp
- stevia 2 tbsp 2 tbsp
- salt 1/2 tsp 1/2 tsp
- crushed red pepper flakes (optional) 1/4 tsp 1/4 tsp
- cucumber(s) (sliced to 1/4 inch rounds (about 60 slices)) 2 2
- onion(s) (thinly sliced) 1/2 1/2
- garlic (thinly sliced) 2 clove 2 clove
Cheesy Cauliflower Tots
Pickled Brussels Sprouts
Crispy Baked Broccoli
Pickled cherries with sweet spices
I always try to eke them out so they last the whole year, saving them for special occasions. This is silly I know because I do actually make them to use.
Doing a big batch of pickled cherries at the end of the year is something I started doing the Christmas before Berta opened and has now become somewhat of a ritual. It can become a little labour intensive to score all the cherries, especially when doing a large batch, so it’s a job best to do sitting around with some friends and a glass of prosecco. Apart from the fact they look so pretty, they make for a very tasty pickle that can be used in so many ways.
- 800 ml red wine vinegar
- 400 ml water
- 1 cup caster sugar
- ¼ cup salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time at least 6 months
Gently wash the cherries, leaving the stalks attached and place them in a colander to drain. One by one, take each cherry and lightly score the underside with a small cross.
Place the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiled add the spices and bay leaf.
Now you need to sterilise your jar. There are many ways to do this but one of the easiest is to gently lower your jar into a large pot of boiling water, let it sit for a minute and then carefully remove with tongs without spilling boiling water on yourself. Use some paper towel to give it a quick wipe.
Place your cherries in the jar and pour over the hot pickle liquor until it reaches the top, making sure all the spices find their way in. Give your jar a good few taps on the bench to remove any air bubbles. Cut out a round of baking paper to the size that will fit snugly over the top of the cherries, and then top up your jar with a little more liquor. You want to make sure all the cherries are submerged.
Seal the lid tightly, write a little date on the top and then put your jar next to your other jars of pickled garlic that you made last month. Admire and start getting excited about all the things you can make with them.
Pickled cherries go particularly well with pates, terrines and cured meats. The rich and fatty flavour of these tasty treats works so well with the natural sweetness of the cherries that have an extra dimension with the almost tart like pickled ness.
You can also use your pickled cherries to good use in a salad. Take them out of the liquor and pit them before adding them to a salad of bitter greens with a little radicchio and lots of herbs, they go particularly nicely with chervil.
The sweet tart nature of them is also a perfect match with many cheeses. I’d either suggest a nice hunk of aged crumbly Infossato (an interesting Italian sheep’s milk cheese) or even a large piece of soft creamy three milk cheese like La tur (another tasty Italian cheese).
Another good use for pickled cherries would be saving them for next Christmas and serving them with a glazed ham before lying on the couch and savouring a bowl of fresh ones whilst gathering your energy to do another batch of pickled cherries.
• I’m sure I’ve said it before – the art of pickling is very exciting. It is an easy project to undertake at a beginners level but can easily become an obsession with endless variations.
Photographs by Benito Martin. Styling by Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd.
Made this three years in a row now and this is the best batch yet. I've doubled the pickling liquid recipe and added 6 cardamom pods to the list of 1st five ingredients. I've forgone cooking the cherries in the strained liquid. Instead cooking only the rosemary sprig. Used 1 pint and 3 half-pint jars adding 10 or so peppercorns, 10 coriander seeds and 2 cardamom pod to each and filled them with pitted cherries surrounding upright fresh rosemary sprigs. Meanwhile brought the liquid back to a boil and poured it over the cherries in the jars. This seems to cook the cherries just enough so they still have a little crunch when served.
Just finished making with wonderful Door Co. cherries. Did not change a thing and very happy with outcome. Going to try it in a few summer cocktails as well as chicken pate¿.
I made these for the first time last year. I happened to be running low on black peppercorns and substituted some long pepper (aka Indian long pepper) for about half of the peppercorns. The substitution was born of necessity, but I'm repeating it again this year by choice. The long pepper lends an intriguing floral note - not quite cardamom, not quite cloves - to the cherries that everyone loved!
Love love love the way the cherries turned out! I substituted coriander with caraway seeds, half brown/granulated sugar, and added two sticks of cinnamon along with the rosemary. Smells like christmas and tastes delicious!
this cherry condiment was awesome! I'm making them again this year, but I will process them in small jars (125 ml) for about 10 minutes so I can give them as Xmas presents p.s. the Westmark cherry pitter is the best
these were awesome! I'm going to process them in small jars, maybe 10 minutes,so I can give them as gifts at the holidays Try them---Delicious and easy ps westmark cherry pitter is the best
Such a successful recipe, everyone raves about this. wonderful with a liver pate and cheeses such as a sharp english cheddar. This is the second year that I'm making these. Great for gifts
These are outstanding. They're perfectly sweet and tart with a hit of heat that makes me want to eat them straight from the jar. I realized I was out of coriander seed, so subbed brown mustard seed and left out the rosemary. I used black cherries and did not pit them so they would stay firm. Already planning another batch!
These were amazing! I had lots of family in town and everyone raved about them! I used a sprig of oregano rather than rosemary and cumin seed rather than coriander seed but the flavor was fantastic.
- Serving Size: 1 (128.7 g)
- Calories 145.9
- Total Fat - 0.2 g
- Saturated Fat - 0 g
- Cholesterol - 0 mg
- Sodium - 587.8 mg
- Total Carbohydrate - 36 g
- Dietary Fiber - 1.2 g
- Sugars - 32.6 g
- Protein - 0.5 g
- Calcium - 12.4 mg
- Iron - 0.5 mg
- Vitamin C - 21.3 mg
- Thiamin - 0 mg
Remove the pits from the plums and cut them into wedges, toss them together with the cherries and garlic in a large bowl set aside.
Place the remaining ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil while stirring reduce heat and simmer while stirring until sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
Pour the syrup over the fruit mixture, cover and keep refrigerated for a couple of days before serving.
What fruits are low in sodium?
When you are shopping at your local grocery store it is wise to look at the labels. However, many items don’t have labels. When is the last time you saw an apple with a familiar square box with nutritional facts? Fortunately, as far as sodium content goes, you don’t have to be too careful with fruits. In their natural raw state they have minimum to low amounts of sodium chloride. Therefore, the examples of low sodium fruits are numerous. Dried apricots, cantaloupes, dried figs, grapes, pineapples and seedless raisins are very low in sodium (35 mg or less per serving). Apricots, bananas, blackberries, cherries, dates, figs, grapefruit, guava, oranges, peaches, pears, strawberries, kiwi, mangoes and watermelons are virtually sodium free.
Notice that the amount of sodium increases when you go from fresh fruits to their dried variety. It has to do with the fact that when fruits are dried sodium stays the same while the amount of some other ingredients may diminish. Also, the process of drying certain fruits involves the use of salt. With moisture gone, the suggested serving size increases and you end up with a product higher in sodium. This is not a big deal. As far as fruits are concerned, you only need to be careful with pickled fruits and sun-dried tomatoes, which are sometimes found on the lists of high sodium foods.
Another important thing is that even cooked fruits rarely or never require that salt is added. Vegetables, on the other hand, often beg to be salted, so consider using other spices with them. Great news for fruit lovers, right? Perhaps, but you still need to worry about sugar content in fruits and unfortunately many cooks add insane amounts of sugar or other sweeteners to fruit deserts. All in all, staying with low sodium fruits is one of the easiest things to do when you are designing your hypertension diet!
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 20 M
- Makes 16 (1/4-cup) servings
Special Equipment: 1-quart glass jar with a lid and a rubber seal, sterilized and funnel
Ingredients US Metric
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 2/3 cups white wine vinegar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 star anise
- 4 cups whole fresh cherries, whether Bing, Rainier, or another sweet variety
If desired, remove the stems from the cherries. Do not remove the pits.
Combine the sugar, vinegar, and spices in a large saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes. Increase the heat and boil rapidly until the liquid has reduced by about a third, 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the cherries, and let cool to room temperature, 1/2 to 1 hour.
Pour the contents of the pan into a 1-quart glass jar with a lid and a rubber seal using a funnel. Close the lid and set aside in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks before opening. The contents should remain dark or bright red, depending on the type of cherries used, and the cherries will become wrinkled, somewhat similar to raisins.
Once opened, your jar of pickled cherries can be stashed in the fridge and will last for up to a month. Originally published August 30, 2017.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Quick! Run to your nearest farmer's market and make these now! These little red gems are destined to become a summer staple in my fridge. These are delicious—and I think they will be very versatile. On their own, they're a little tart, a little sweet, and a little spicy—nice on a ham and Cheddar sandwich or with a cold meat and cheese platter. I used them on crostini as an appetizer—crisp thin baguette slices, smear of soft goat cheese, sprinkle of baby arugula, and a little dice of the cherries. Delicious! I'll be saving the syrup to use as a base for a gastrique or to pickle some shallots in or maybe use in a vinaigrette. I can see it pairing well with a roasted beet and goat cheese salad, for instance, or just stir a spoon into some soda water for a quick cherry shrub. This is a real keeper!
I used sweet Bing cherries—they're the first to come to market in my area. The recipe came together in a snap—5 minutes to dissolve the sugar in the white wine vinegar and then another 5 minutes to reduce it by 1/3. I ended up with 3 cups liquid, which I poured over the cherries while it was still hot. After a couple of hours on the counter to cool, I hid the jar in the back of the fridge and tried to forget about them for 2 weeks. The cherries kept their color—still nice and plump after 2 weeks. They did float a little, I ended up with about 3/4 quart of cherries with some extra cherry vinegar syrup at the bottom of the jar.
Pure ambrosia or simply "umm umm good" is what I call this delicious treat! Even after growing up with grandparents who faithfully canned fruits and blanched vegetables, this was the first time I tried my hand at canning. With trepidation, I purchased my ingredients and quickly started prepping as soon as I arrived home, which took all of maybe 15 minutes, including washing the cherries.
Once all the ingredients were in the pot and the sugar started to dissolve, a lovely aroma wafted up from the pot after only 5 minutes. After another 5, the ingredients had boiled down nicely. I made a huge error then and submitted to curiosity by dipping one of my sweet Bing cherries into the mixture. Sweet, tangy flavor burst onto my tongue, the likes of which I can only liken to the childhood nostalgia of eating pickled peaches in South Georgia. I was not able to hold off for the requisite 2 weeks before tasting, but if the flavor improves any, I will be in cherry heaven.
The recipe makes a quart. I substituted a couple 1-pint Mason jars. I tried the recipe twice, once with pitted cherries and the other with the full cherries. No contest, I would keep the recipe as is with the full cherries. Usually I do not eat all of my cherries and allow them to spoil. Not anymore! Thank you for this lovely recipe!
These pickled cherries will be wonderful on charcuterie and cheese boards during the holidays. The aroma of the syrup filled the kitchen and reminded me of winter days. I've opened the cupboard and peered in at them every single day. They'll be well worth the wait. I was initially concerned about the thickness of the syrup, but as I poured it into the jar, some thin juice also poured out of the pan. I realized then, that as these sit for two weeks, more juice will extract out of the cherries and most likely reduce the thickness of the syrup.
Before cooking, I measured 4 cups of cherries and put them in the jar to see if they would all fit. They did not but 3 1/2 cups cherries fit before cooking. However, after cooking, all 4 cups fit plus the syrup. So, even if it looks like too many, go ahead and use 4 cups.
This pickled cherries recipe has all sorts of promise, so I’m optimistic that I've captured a little of the fleeting cherry season in a new way. This is a pretty easy recipe and seems like it should work with whatever variety of cherries you have available. I made mine with Rainier since that’s what’s showing up locally, though of course I would love to try these with Bings.
Be aware that when you boil the vinegar, the vapor might really be strong, so plan on using your exhaust fan. You want to pay close attention so that you don’t burn the sugar past syrup into caramel, and maybe use your spatula or a skewer or a popsicle stick as a depth gauge. I notched a skewer and every 5 minutes or so, would turn off the heat so the bubbles calmed down and check the depth, continuing on until sufficiently reduced by about a third. I was glad I used a good size saucepan (8-inch diameter, 3.2qt volume) as the rapid boil looks a little exciting initially bubbling up. I did measure the rather thick syrupy liquid at the end of 15 minutes (2 1/2 cups), returning it to the pan and adding the cherries which fit into a single layer filling the saucepan.
After cooling for 40 minutes, I used a canning funnel, which I really recommend for trouble-free pouring, and fit all the cherries in with about 3 fl. oz. leftover liquid. The cherries floated up about an inch off the bottom, and to ensure that they stayed submerged, I placed a food-safe canning lid insert under the ring and lid to press down the fruit under the liquid since they wanted to float.
The spiced syrup smelled lovely, the jar was sealed up and sent to the cellar to sit for 2 weeks, and I patiently (hah!) look forward to tasting these in 2 weeks. I can already see them as part of an appetizer board or even used in drinks! The syrup will be a bonus ingredient to save for a shrub or spritzer. I spooned some into an infusion I had of ginger and cinnamon water, and it set pretty solid on the spoon and ice cubes, which reminded me of Greek cherry spoon sweets.
Preserving the season's best produce is a wonderful way to reap the benefits of ripe produce year round. Preserving and canning have been very popular in the past few years and this recipe for cherries in vinegar is one of the most unique recipes for preserving that I have come across. Unique in its flavor components, fresh cherries are mixed with a combination of sugar, white wine vinegar (I used a nice Prosecco vinegar), and the warmth of a cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, and 1 star anise. The mixture of sugar and the vinegar give the cherries a tart “pop” of flavor while the spices give it them a real depth of flavor. The pickled cherries sit for 2 weeks in a cool spot. and it's well worth the wait.
After 2 weeks, their color was still bright red, but the cherries themselves did wrinkle a tiny bit. They were perfectly pickled and have a wonderful flavor! Looking forward to testing them out in many, many recipes. I'm happy to have these beautiful red gems in the fridge for both sweet and savory applications over the next month or so. In fact, here are a few ways I plan to use them this coming week: First off tonight, I am going to toss them together in a salad of curly, bitter endive with pistachios and crumbled goat cheese. Later this week I am going to pair the cherries with fennel-crusted pork chops. And to try them in a sweeter application, I am going to try serving them with a sprig of fresh mint as a dessert over a serving of rich, creamy fromage blanc.
In terms of the recipe itself, it took about 10 minutes over low heat for the sugar to dissolve into the vinegar mixture. I ended up finding some lovely Bing cherries at the market for this recipe--and wanted to mention that I removed their stems before adding them into the jar with the preserving liquid. I did not pit them, but I think it's worth mentioning taking the stems off. It took about 20 minutes for the cherries in the liquid to cool to room temp.
This pickled cherries recipe was super easy to put together, even for someone who isn't a seasoned pickle-maker. I found some lovely local Massachusetts Rainer cherries and was thrilled to find a new way to preserve the local fruit of the season. I can't wait to add these cherries to my next cheese board! The liquid turned a beautiful pink colored when poured in the jar.
With cherry season in full swing still and cherries selling at a very low price, this a great new way to take advantage. The recipe is simple to prepare and made some lovely preserved cherries with an interesting texture. They turn a bit wrinkled like a raisin but they do not fully cook or turn mushy. So they have a nice texture and since they are left whole, they don't get overpowered by the vinegar.
I loved them with thin slices of sourdough rye bread and a strong Cheddar. Open those windows for ventilation with those vinegar fumes! The cherries do turn a bit wrinkled and the vinegar mixture soaks up a lot of the color. I did get a quart, but I do think this is more liquid than the cherries need. It might be ok to cut it down by 1/4 or 1/3. Another possibility is to add some more cherries, another cup or two. The leftover vinegar syrup is delicious though, kind of like a "shrub," and I will be using it in drinks and cocktails.
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This is delicious. Can’t wait for the 2 week period then serving. I was wondering if processing this will keep longer than two weeks.
I would like to make a larger quantity and give for gifts. Do I need to go through traditional canning methods or will this destroy the plump cherries?
Donna, the cherries will likely keep for longer than 2 weeks in storage, however, you can water-bath process them if you’d like to store them for an extended period of time and give them as gifts. It will extend the shelf life, however, since we didn’t test this method, I can’t say if the texture of the cherries would be different.
I don’t have star anise—is there something I can use as a substitute—also, with ingredients sparse at grocers right now…can I use cider vinegar instead of white wine vinegar? Thank you
Thank you for your quick reply…I went ahead and made this and it’s pickling as I write—looks wonderful, but my question is—why do we have to wait 2 weeks in order to enjoy this? Can we not have it 3 days later or what’s the story on that? Thank you.
I’m so glad you tried these, Margaret! Although you technically could eat them right away, we encourage you to try and wait at least 2 weeks if you can so that the cherries have a chance to properly pickle. Trust us, it’s worth it!
Margaret, we’d suggest using 1/2 teaspoon of five-spice powder in place of the star anise, but if you don’t have that on hand either, allspice or cloves could be swapped in for the star anise. Cider vinegar should be fine in place of the white wine vinegar.
I’d like to try this recipe, but as someone who cans on a regular basis, I’m concerned about the safety of “open kettle” canning. Is there a reason why this can’t be processed in a hot water bath?
I’m with you, Gloria. I am always a little nervous about canning without processing, though folks have been doing it for a long time. We don’t see any reason why this couldn’t be water-bath canned, or you could just let them sit in the refrigerator for the two weeks and plan to enjoy them in the weeks following that.
This is the 6th time I’ve made this recipe. It never disappoints! To switch it up a bit, this time I also added 1 tbsp of pink peppercorns and 5 juniper berries. One of my favourite applications for these tart & sweet morsels is to serve with pâté, charcuterie, and game meat. I usually process one jar and save in the refrigerator for the holidays. The pickle juice is also amazing to flavour Kombucha after the second ferment. Going on vacation so staying away from these jars for 2 weeks will be easy!
Ilda, I’m with you. And your pictures…wow! Just beautiful.
Finally a recipe for cherries that you don’t have to pit! :) I’m anxious to try this with our wonderful Washington state cherries. I pickled grapes not too long ago and they were great but I bet cherries are even better! I’ll chime in after I make them! Thanks for another awesome recipe!
- 4 cups sweet cherries
- 2 cups white balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 3 inches stick cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon kirsch (optional)
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
Sort and wash cherries. If desired, stem and pit cherries. In a large nonmetal bowl combine cherries and vinegar. Cover the bowl and let stand at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.
Drain the vinegar from the cherries into a medium stainless-steel, enamel, or nonstick saucepan. Add sugar, the water, vanilla bean, and stick cinnamon. Bring to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolves reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat let cool.
Stir the kirsch (if using) and almond extract into the cooled vinegar mixture. Pour over cherries. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 3 days.
Drain the liquid into a medium stainless-steel, enamel, or nonstick saucepan, discarding vanilla bean pieces and cinnamon stick. Bring to boiling. Remove from heat. Strain liquid let cool.
Meanwhile, pack the cherries into sterilized half-pint jars. Pour liquid over cherries in jars, filling the jars to the brims. Seal with nonreactive lids. Refrigerate for at least 1 month before serving.