PICKLED CHERRIES YOU ASK...???
WELL...PUCKER UP !!!
THESE BABIES PACK AN AMAZINGLY POWERFUL FLAVOR PUNCH.
THEY ARE ADDICTING.
i don't know how i got this idea that i HAD to make pickled cherries. i just wanted a way to enjoy all these beautiful cherries all year long. i googled around and found a few recipes, but the vinegar thing was throwing my off. i knew if i tweaked the recipes a bit i would have to give it a try. i had no idea how these would turn out, but it was an unbelievable surprise when i opened the first jar...
upon first bite i was a little wary...WHAM! the vinegar wakes up your taste buds...then the spice slaps you upside...the rosemary kicks in and you're left with this amazing flavor sensation that leaves you wanting more. one of those flavor sensations that makes you wonder...
"why haven't i tried anything like this before?"...
BECAUSE PICKLED CHERRIES SOUND WEIRD.
they ARE weird......weird in the best way.
i've only served them with cheese and crackers. creamy savory cheese calms the sweet heat and pairs well with the tart tangy vinegar. maybe prosciutto, salami, or pate de campagne?...
any charcuterie platter would be proud to have these as an addition.
there are so many other possibilities. one friend put them in a salad and another chopped them and put them in black rice with a nice glazed salmon.
so far i find myself eating them right outta the jar.
these are a must try. canning isn't necessary.
like i said, i was hoping to have cherries for the winter, but these aren't gonna last until then.
follow recipe, let them cool, then refrigerate and wait for a few days before opening...if you can wait that long.
SPICY SWEET SAVORY PICKLED CHERRIES
many thanks to Tom at Tall Clover Farm
for his "how-to"s and a great starting point.
this recipe made 4 pint jars and 3 half-pint jars with a few left over.
3 pounds of firm sweet cherries...i used 1 lb. Rainer and 2 lbs. Bing
for the brine...
2 cups white wine vinegar
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp peppercorns
2 tsp red pepper flakes...1 tsp will be okay for the normal heat seekers.
1 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3-4 whole cloves
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
5 smashed cardamom pods
1/2 vanilla pod split open
extra stuff for the jars...
NOTE...you can stuff them with these extra goodies if you want. you need to make sure these things have been boiled for a short time in the strained brine if you are canning...C-note at bottom
6 - 8 chili arbol...or long thin dried chili
6 nice rosemary sprigs
3 vanilla pods, split and halved to make 6 pieces
a few cardamom pods if you want.
wash cherries..you can choose to leave stems (trimmed to 1/2 inch) and pits in or remove stems and pits...i tried both and found the pitted were obviously easier to eat, and they also filled the jars a little better. the non-pitted ones, however are cuter in the jar and a little more attractive and rustic for a nice charcuterie platter.
in a heavy bottom sauce pan add all brine ingredients. heat on a low simmer for 5-10 minutes. things should be getting very fragrant. turn off heat and let steep for 30 minutes.
meanwhile, fill STERILIZED JARS with cherries. fit as many as you can without squishing them too much. leave 1 inch head space. also put a few extra items like rosemary, chili arbol, vanilla pod, in down the side of the jar....NOTE...i am not sure about food safety on these additions if they have not been boiled...so you could just evenly distribute the ones that steeped in the syrup.
strain syrup with cheesecloth. save the rosemary sprigs, cardamom pods and vanilla for the jars.
bring the temperature back up to hot.
pour syrup into jars over cherries leaving 1/2 inch head space.
NOTE...be careful. DO NOT pour hot liquid into cold jars.
screw on sterilized lid.
process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.
OR...screw on lids, let come to room temperature and refrigerate.
try to wait 2-3 days before trying. they pack quite a spicy wallop, but seem to mellow out a little on the heat factor after a week or so.
NOTE AT THE BOTTOM...i am not a canning expert. please take care in canning properly for food safety. here is a good place to start if you are new to canning or a little unsure.