Pickled spiced cherries...

28 January, 2015

As mentioned in the weekend post, one of my favourite preserving recipes is for pickled spiced cherries.

This is a little out of character, as mostly I like to keep my preserves simple. A light sugar syrup, a little lemon juice and I'm done. Let the flavour of the fruit shine through.

But this is the exception to the rule, because it is awesome.

Pickled Spiced Cherries
(adapted from Homemade by Judith Choate)

As many cherries as you can spare
(I've just both sweet and sour/morello cherries in the past and I have a slight preference for sour/morello type, slightly on taste but mostly because they are smaller and a more appropriately sized portion when eating)
Enough vinegar to cover the cherries  
(I use homemade apple cider vinegar from a cider batch gone wrong)

Put the cherries (stalk, pips and all) in a bowl and cover with the vinegar until all the cherries are submerged. Leave for 5 days in a cool place.

Drain off the vinegar, keeping the liquid.

Put the liquid in a large pan.

Measure your vinegar sozzled cherries in cups, roughly. For however many cups of cherries, you will need half as many cups of sugar.

This was 4 cups of vinegar sozzled cherries.

Add the sugar to the cherry vinegar in the pan and place on a low heat to dissolve. While this happens, peel a small piece of fresh ginger, finely slice and add to the cherry vinegar/sugar mixture.

Now get out your preserving vessel of choice (mine is wide mouth Ball Mason jars, I generally use a half pint i.e. 237ml jar for these) and sterilise.

Get your cherries and add to the sterilised jars. Now we are going to spice them up.

I use star anise, cardamom, mace, juniper, cinnamon, cloves and bay.

To each jar of cherries add roughly a quarter of a star anise, one cardamom pod, half a teaspoon of mace, 3 juniper berries, a quarter teaspoon of ground cinnamon, two cloves and one bay leaf.

I just love how the jars look with the spices in.

By now the sugar should be dissolved. Bring it up to the boil, then as soon as it boils take it off the heat and carefully fill the jars (a preserving funnel does wonders here).

Remember as we aren't water bath canning these in the FV you don't need to worry about how much head space you leave. Fill 'em up.

Then quickly add the lids. Tighten as tightly as possible (again, more than water bath canning would generally recommend), then leave to cool.

You may be lucky to get the lids to pop down, giving a good seal (4 out of these 6 did, the two that didn't will be used first).

Now put your spiced cherries in a coolish place to mature for at least 4 weeks.

Eat with pate and swoon.


  1. phwoar, these would be alright! just nice with a salty cracker and glass of champagne at the end of the day... :-)

    1. I reckon you're right about the champagne. I might just do that to celebrate cracking the first one open :)