Pickled cherries to be exact. Strange, I know, but pretty yummy.
I really had no idea that you could pickle cherries. I haven’t even known for that long that you could pickle things other than cucumbers. But it’s cherry season and I had a large quantity of cherries on my hands and I wasn’t up for making a pie– actually, I wasn’t keen on having to pit so many cherries– so, off to the internets to find something to make with all this fruit!
Ergo, pickled cherries. I just so happened to have all the ingredients in my pantry for this recipe.
2 lbs sweet or sour cherries, stems and pits intact
3 cups (24 fl. oz.) red wine vinegar (ok, I used cider vinegar)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
3 cinnamon sticks
3 bay leaves
3 pieces of star anise
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
- With a small fork or a toothpick, puncture each cherry 5-6 times to allow the pickling juice to penetrate the fruit. Place the cherries into a glass jar.
- In a medium pot, mix together the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced to 1/3 of its original volume. Remove the pot from heat and let the pickling liquid cool down for 10 minutes.
- Pour the liquid over the cherries in the jar. If the cherries are not fully submerged, that’s okay. In a few hours, they will release more juice into the pickling liquid. Let the cherries cool down completely before closing the lid.
- Keep the pickled cherries in the seal jar in the refrigerator. To prolong the life of the pickled cherries, use a clean spoon every time you dig into the cherry jar. The pickled cherries, refrigerated, will keep up to one month. Keep in mind that the longer they keep, the more wrinkly and the more pale they will become.
I really had no idea what to expect, but the brine alone smells amazing. Pickled cherries are sweet, but spicy with a bit of a sour punch. I’ll have to think of some ways of eating them other than straight outta the jar… pickled cherries, who knew?