pinterest

June 14, 2009

CHERRY BOMBS spicy pickled cherries








CHERRY BOMBS

Pickled cherries are weird and wonderful and divinely simple to make (no pitting involved).

The classic pickled cherry has the clove, cinnamon, peppercorn trio, which doesn’t do much for me, and frankly doesn’t do much for the cherry either.
When I think cherry, I think vanilla, almond or anise to compliment its intense concentrated flavor.
Once you have the basic brine down you can play alchemist. Try red wine and balsamic vinegar with brown sugar. Or make the white wine brine and season each jar differently, try a sprig of mint, or basil and cardamom. I would love to hear what you tried, so please, let me know in comments at the bottom of the page.

I used tarragon and anise in some and chilies and vanilla in others. I am crazy about the vanilla-chili combo. It’s a flavor explosion, all right and all wrong at the same time, and completely modern. I am going to serve them with everything this summer, barbecued chicken, ribs, accompanying a charcuterie plate, and for sure in some crazy cocktail I have yet to devise.
The tarragon cherries are more refined and sophisticated. They taste like France and beg for fois gras or duck. Next fall, when you crack open a jar to serve alongside your roast duck, they will remind you of early summer and France.


Cherry Bombs
spicy pickled cherries


2 lbs cherries

2.5 cups white wine
2 cups white wine vinegar
1 ½ cups sugar
15-20 fresh Thai chilies
1 vanilla bean split open and cut into four pieces

• Wash cherries and cut stems down to about ½ inch. Discard any blemished cherries. Prick each cherry a few times with a pin or toothpick (this encourages them to absorb liquid and sink).

• Combine wine, vinegar and sugar, in a medium non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

• Pack cherries into hot sterilized jars. Add 3-5 chilies (depending on your spice-o-meter) and a 1-½ inch piece of vanilla bean to each jar.


• Pour the hot vinegar mix over the cherries leaving ½ - ¼ inch headroom. Seal and store in a cool dark place for 2-4 weeks. Refrigerate after opening.

Tarragon Cherries

2 lbs cherries
2.5 cups white wine

2 cups white wine vinegar

1 ½ cups sugar
8 peppercorns
4 sprigs fresh tarragon
4 star anise

• Wash cherries and cut stems down to about ½ inch. Discard any blemished cherries. Prick each cherry a few times with a pin or toothpick (this encourages them to absorb liquid and sink).


• Combine wine, vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, and star anise in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

• Pack cherries into hot sterilized jars dividing spices evenly. Add a sprig of tarragon to each jar.


• Pour the hot vinegar mix over the cherries leaving ½ - ¼ inch headroom. Seal and store in a cool dark place for 2-4 weeks. Refrigerate after opening.

9 comments:

  1. I made this with the tarragon; it was marvelous, used it with a pork roast,

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you.I'll have to try it with pork. Glad you enjoyed it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. So inspiring!... spent the weekend canning homegrown cherries and more... ~ david et al

    ReplyDelete
  4. they sound really interesting. I'm not sure about pickled cherries, but I'm willing to give it a go. Is there anything that can be substituted for the wine though? I don't drink any alchohol. Maybe Apple or some other juice?

    ReplyDelete
  5. They are yummy. You can absolutely substitute juice for the wine, white or purple grape would be fine.Try to find unsweetened juice (available at health-food stores). You may have to adjust the sugar accordingly or your brine will be too sweet. I hope this answers your questions.

    ReplyDelete
  6. wow, this sounds awesome- the chili-vanilla combo sounds so exotic! i'm bookmarking this page now for the next time i see cherries at the market.

    ReplyDelete
  7. When you say "seal", are you processing the jars in a hot water bath like my mom used to do when she canned her cherries?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Scott,

    These are not processed in a hot water bath. Cherries are so delicate, that a hot water bath turns them to mush and their texture is completely changed. The sugar and the vinegar help preserve them and after opening they should be refrigerated. If you are uncomfortable with this you can refrigerate them right away, although you will have to wait longer to open them. happy canning!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I made these yesterday with sour cherries and the darker brine (pinot noir, balsalmic, brown sugar) I also added star anise and a cinnamon stick. I can't WAIT to try them.

    ReplyDelete