Preserving cherries in syrup is easy and it allows you to make the most of the short cherry season.
Have you seen last week's Cherries in Kirsch? So good, I could eat them every day if they weren't so boozy... Today's cherries in syrup are their non-alcoholic version, something my kids can have over ice cream while the grown-ups enjoy the brandy version.
These syrup cherries are easy to make, they keep well and are the perfect topping for any kind of dessert. A few jars of these in the cellar and you will always have a dessert ready when you need it.
- You can make this recipe with sweet or sour cherries.
- I almost always use sweet ones, because we have a huge tree in our garden, but sour ones are super too!
Sugar: If you make this recipe with sour cherries use 350 g/ 12.4 oz/ 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar, they will need slightly more.
Star anise: I am adding star anise to almost every cherry preserve I make this summer. Incredible flavor!
Alternative spices: cinnamon stick, cloves, all-spice berries.
How to make?
You will need two days to make this cherries in syrup recipe. But don't worry there is really not much you have to do, just let the cherries sit in the sugar for 24 hours before cooking them.
- Pit the cherries and place them in a bowl. (1)
- Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and star anise. Stir well.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and let sit at room temperature for 20-24 hours. (2)
- Strain. (3)
- Reserve the liquid. (4)
- Pour the liquid into a heavy-bottomed pot.
- Add the water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. (1)
- Add the cherries and simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes until they are softer. (2)
- Remove the foam that forms as good as it gets. (3)
- Divide the cherries between sterilized jars and top with the syrup, so that they are completely covered. (4)
- Seal with the lids and let cool.
- I never can this kind of cherry preserve, but you can do it if you wish.
- Use a cherry pitter to remove the stones of the fruit. A pitter will only make a hole in the middle of the cherries but leave them whole otherwise and that is what you need. (Amazon affiliate link)
- Wear an apron during pitting and do it preferably in a sink.
- There will be a lot of splatter happening and cherry juice stains the clothes.
- Don't overcook the syrup, it should not thicken too much, it has to be a light and pourable liquid.
- Keep tuned for candied cherries in a thick, glossy syrup.
How to keep?
- First of all, this makes a small batch, but the recipe can be easily doubled or tripled if you have lots of cherries.
- Leave the cherries in syrup cool on the counter. Store in a dark, cool place like a cellar or a pantry.
- They will keep for up to 3 months if you can them they will keep longer.
- Once you open a jar, keep it in the refrigerator and eat it within 4-5 days.
How to serve?
- Serve them over waffles, pancakes or crepes.
- They are amazing over ice cream, semolina or rice pudding.
- Use the syrup and some finely chopped cherries to flavor homemade ice cream as well.
- Add some to smoothies or milkshakes.
- Use the syrup to moisten cake bases and the cherries to add to cake fillings or to decorate cakes.
More ways of preserving cherries:
How to Preserve Cherries - Low-Sugar
Cherries in Syrup
- 500 g/ about 1 lb sweet or sour cherries
- 325 g/ 10.5 oz/ 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 larger star anise Note
- 150 ml/ 5 fl.oz/ ⅔ cup water
- Pit the cherries with a cherry pitter. Place in a large bowl. Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and star anise. Stir well. Cover with a kitchen cloth. Let sit for 20-25 hours.
- Strain the cherries and reserve the liquid. Pour the liquid into a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the water and the star anise that was already in the cherry bowl. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer the syrup for about 15 minutes. The syrup should not thicken too much.
- Add the cherries and simmer on low heat for another 5 minutes or until the cherries are softer. The syrup should not be too thick, it should remain pourable. Remove the foam and the star anise from the pot.
- Divide the cherries into sterilized jars and pour the liquid over the fruit, they should be completely covered. Seal well.
- Let cool and keep in a dark cool place. They will keep for at least 3 months. You could can the jars, if desired, they will keep even longer. Once opened, keep refrigerated and eat within 4-5 days.
LISA MACKEY says
Can I use frozen sour cherries I picked and froze?
thank you 🙂
Hi Lisa. Sorry, I cannot say, I've always used fresh for this recipe.
@LISA MACKEY, Yes ,put on cookie sheet,spread out, freeze,then in a ziploc bag to freeze long term..4-6 months! 😉