Amaretto cherries made from scratch, boozy, delicious, and inexpensive. A perfect addition to lots of desserts and even savory dishes.
Considering how expensive it is to buy a jar of Amaretto cherries, you will not believe how simple and cheap this recipe is. All you need is some Amaretto liqueur, fruit, sugar, and some spices. You will pay less for the whole batch than you would pay for one jar of these boozy cherries in the store.
And what a nice thing to add to any Christmas present later this year! Preserve now and make a present of it (stress-free) in winter. Or you could try other drunken cherries like the Cherries in Kirsch.
- This is a great way of preserving cherries if you happen to have a tree in the garden.
- They have a long shelf-life, so you can make quite a few jars if you have that bottle of liqueur already.
- These homemade Amaretto cherries contain no additives or weird stuff.
- You have a ready-made dessert waiting in your cellar or pantry. Just open a jar whenever you feel like it and spoon some cherries and syrup over ice cream, vanilla or rice pudding, a slice of cake, and so on.
What do you need?
- I always use heart cherries (we have a large tree in the garden). They are very dark, very sweet, really the best I have ever eaten.
- More common sorts like Bing or Picotta are also perfect for this recipe.
- Just make sure that they are ripe, unlike other fruit, they will not continue to ripen after they are picked.
- And make sure that they are fresh, with no dark spots or bruises.
- A sweet, bitter almond-flavored liqueur originating in Saronno, Italy. Actually the most common brand you can buy is called Disarono, which I suppose can be translated From Saronno.
- You can drink it as it is, but as I generally find it a touch too sweet, I prefer to mix it in cocktails or – my favorite – add a shot to a cup of coffee. So good!
- You can definitely use other brands of Amaretto, there are quite a few you can choose from.
- I would not go for the most expensive one, you will add other flavors to the syrup anyway, so it is not worth it buying a very pricey brand.
- Go for the mid-priced ones.
Bitter almond flavor:
- Be careful with the dosage, I ruined a couple of cakes and desserts because I added too much bitter almond essence, it can be very domineering.
- If using essence, 3-4 drops will be enough.
- If using extract, about ¼ to ½ teaspoon, to taste.
Other ingredients: sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract.
How to make:
- Stone the cherries using a cherry pitter, this way they will remain whole with just the hole in the middle.
- Place into a large pot and gently mix with the sugar.
- Bring to a boil and cook very gently until the sugar dissolves completely, and the liquid turns syrupy about 15 to 20 minutes. However, don’t overcook it, the syrup should be light and not become solid when cool.
- Add lemon juice, alcohol, vanilla extract, and bitter almond flavor.
- Continue cooking for 10 more minutes.
- Remove foam.
- Divide the cherries between the sterilized jars and cover them completely with the liquid.
- Seal well and let cool.
How to store?
- Store in a dark cool place like a cellar or pantry. Let steep for 3-4 weeks before serving, the flavors will deepen.
- Once you open a jar, keep it refrigerated.
- They will keep for a long time, I still have some from last year and they are great.
How to use?
- Add them to desserts, for instance to ice cream, semolina, or rice pudding.
- Flavor homemade ice cream with the syrup and add some finely chopped cherries to it as well.
- You could add some to muffins, cakes, use to make cake fillings, or decorate cakes.
- The boozy liquid can be used to moisten cake bases.
- Add some syrup to cocktails and decorate them with a cherry, for instance.
- Serve as an accompaniment to a cheese platter.
- Or with roasted duck breast.
More preserved cherries:
- 1500 g/ 3.3 lb sweet cherries
- 300 g/ 10.6 oz/ 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 240 ml/ 6.8 fl.oz/ 1 cup Amaretto liqueur
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon bitter almond flavor Note
- Stone the cherries with a cherry pitter. Place them in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the sugar, stir gently, and bring to a boil. Cook gently for about 15 to 20 minutes, the liquid should start to look like a light syrup.
- Add lemon juice, alcohol, vanilla extract, and bitter almond flavor. Continue cooking for 10 more minutes. Remove the foam.
- Divide the cherries between the sterilized jars and cover them completely with the liquid. Seal well and let cool. Keep in a dark cool place and let steep for about 3-4 weeks before serving. Once you open a jar, keep it refrigerated.