Doing a big batch of pickled cherries at the end of the year is something I started doing the Christmas before Berta opened and has now become somewhat of a ritual. It can become a little labour intensive to score all the cherries, especially when doing a large batch. Apart from the fact they look so pretty, they make for a very tasty pickle that can be used in so many ways.
- 1 pound cherries
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, peppercorns, coriander seeds and red pepper flakes to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Pit the cherries. If you have a cherry pitter, use it! Otherwise, use an unfolded paperclip, an orange manicure stick, a small pair of tweezers or the end of a small skewer to stuff it and “get out” of the pit. Whichever way you pit them, work on a bowl to catch the cherry juice.
- Put the pitted cherries and their juice in equal quantities in two 1-quart jars or a 1-quart jar.
- Pour equal amounts of the vinegar mixture into the jars to cover the cherries. Screw on the lids and allow the jars to cool to room temperature.
- Refrigerate for at least one week before use and up to 2 months; the pickles will still be edible after 2 months, but I find that their texture is starting to get a little mushy for my taste.
- These are “refrigerated” pickles that have not been treated with hot water or canned, so they are not stable in storage and must be kept in the refrigerator.
- Add a few cloves, a cinnamon stick, and a pod or two of cardamom to give these pickles a warm spice note.
- Tuck in a sprig of fresh rosemary to each jar for pickles with a strong herbal scent.
- Leave out the spices entirely for even simpler cherry pickles—just boil the vinegar, water, and sugar together.