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Pickled Cherries with Savory and Spice

Serves: Makes 3 (1-quart) jars of pickled cherries

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds fresh dark cherries, such as Bing, Van, Lambert, or Stella
  • 12 (4-inch) sprigs fresh savory
  • 4 cups white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 fresh bay leaves, torn


Procedures:

Cherry season is greatly anticipated and yet so fleeting. There are only so many you can eat out of hand, top with a buttery and sweet nut crust for a crisp, or tumble with a little sugar and cornstarch to bake into a flaky pie. To truly savor and preserve the season, pack fresh cherries into hinged-top French canning jars and pickle them for a spiced, tart accompaniment to pâtés, game meats, seared duck breasts, or pork roasts.
  1. Wash the jars, including the lids and screw bands, in hot, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Alternatively, run the jars through the regular cycle of your dishwasher; wash the lids and screw bands by hand. Sterilize the jars and lids.


  2. Wash the cherries and pat dry with paper towels. Using kitchen shears, snip the stem ends, leaving ¾ inch intact. Using a skewer or toothpick, prick each cherry in several places. (This allows the pickling liquid to permeate into the cherry.) Fill the jars half full of cherries.


  3. Nestle 4 sprigs of savory into each jar, spacing them evenly down the sides of the jars. Fill the jars evenly with the rest of the cherries.


  4. In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, peppercorns, star anise, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Boil the pickling liquid for 1 minute and remove from the heat.


  5. Using a wide-mouth funnel, ladle the hot pickling liquid into the prepared jars filled with cherries, covering the fruit and leaving ½ inch headspace. Wipe the rims clean and attach the lids. Steep at room temperature until cool. Store in the refrigerator for 2 weeks to allow the flavors to permeate the cherries.


Storing: Refrigerate, covered, for 2 weeks and up to 6 months.

by Sur La Table & Andrews McMeel Publishing

 
 
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