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.

Ingredients of Spiced Pickled Cherries

  • 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

Method of Spiced Pickled Cherries

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Put the pitted cherries and their juice in equal quantities in two 1-quart jars or a 1-quart jar. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Variations:

  1. Add a few cloves, a cinnamon stick, and a pod or two of cardamom to give these pickles a warm spice note.
  2. Tuck in a sprig of fresh rosemary to each jar for pickles with a strong herbal scent.
  3. Leave out the spices entirely for even simpler cherry pickles—just boil the vinegar, water, and sugar together.

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