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 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.