Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sweet Pickled Cherries

I still have cherries to get rid of, so this was my next project: a sweet fruit pickle. Less acid and much sweeter than a typical pickle (chortle), this rich preserve is ideal for spooning over ice cream or other equally delicious treats.

Don't be put off by the presence here of vinegar; the sugar does indeed make this pleasantly sweet. Vinegar acts as a preservative, its high level of acidity effectively stopping bacterial activity.

You will need:
  • 900 g cherries (I left the stalks on for decorative effect - you don't have to)
  • 600 ml white wine vinegar (far less pungent than malt, essential so that the cherries aren't overwhelmed)
  • 225 g brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 1 tsp cloves
Pour the vinegar into a pot, along with the sugar and spices. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the cherries and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Remove the cherries and place in warm, sterilised jars. Bring the liquid back to the boil and cook until it is the consistency of a runny syrup - not too liquid, but not too thick like treacle or golden syrup (otherwise known as the Goldilocks treatment). It will also thicken as it cools, so don't let the liquid reduce too much.

Pour the hot syrup (I left the spices in) over the cherries, cover and store in a cool, dark place. Again, you could eat it straight away but the longer it's left, the more the flavours will develop. Once you open the jar, store in the fridge. Serve over desserts (hot or cold) with a generous measure of syrup, disregarding signs of anxiety from your teeth.

Recipe from The Penguin Book of Jams, Pickles and Chutneys by David and Rose Mabey - grand wee book, find yourself a copy if you can.


Sasa said...

I have total food envy. Cherries are my favourite fruit, and I did have some when I was home but it already seems like a distant memory...

Alessandra said...

Lucky you you still have a cherries!

I never have enough to do anything with them except eating them!

Nigel, I have a giveaway on my blog, if you are interested!



Nigel Olsen said...

Alessandra - I was at the supermarket yesterday & they had none in stock, & earlier on in the week, the large group of roadside vendors just outside Taradale had none either! One day you're up to your eyeballs in cherries, & the next day, they're gone. I saw your giveaway, too - awesome prize!

Sasa - Hello! It must of been nice being back home:) The ephemeral nature of cherries is what makes them special, just like asparagus, except without the funny smelling wee.