A versatile and delicious condiment!
It’s no accident that there is a whole subsection of my website devoted to pickles, preserves and condiments. My siblings and I were always expected to help with the vast amounts of canning that went on in our home and I have kept up the tradition, albeit in much smaller quantities. I love making single jars of a tasty preserved treat because they’re so fast and easy, yet can be enjoyed for weeks to come. These pickled cherries are a great case in point – you can serve them over yogurt or ice cream for a simple dessert, toss them in a cocktail, slice them and add to a salad, or use them to perk up a cheese or charcuterie board. If you’re a fan of pickled fruit you might also enjoy my pickled melon, pickled blueberries or pickled apple slices.
- 3 cups (750 mL) sweet cherries (approximately 1lb / 454 g) *
- 3/4 cup (185 mL) cider or rice vinegar
- 3/4 cup (185 mL) water
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract
*substitute with 2 cups (500 mL) of pitted, frozen sweet cherries if you like (do not thaw)
- If using fresh cherries, wash them then use a cherry pitter or small, sharp knife to remove the pits and stems from the cherries. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, maple syrup, salt, red pepper flakes and vanilla. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Add the pitted cherries to the brine in the pot and simmer until cherries are just tender, about 3 – 4 minutes.
- With a ladle (and a canning funnel if you have one), transfer the cherries and most of the brining liquid to a clean 2 cup (500 mL) canning jar, filling it to 1/4 inch (.6 cm) from the top with the liquid. Cover the jar and let sit at room temperature until cool, then refrigerate.
- Pickled cherries are ready to enjoy after 24 hours. They can be kept in the fridge for up to a month. For longer storage, process via traditional hot water canning methods and use within one year.
Makes one 2 cup / 500 mL jar.