Wine cherries: soft and aromatic, preserved in red wine, can them now and enjoy some of the summer flavors later on this year.
The season has almost come to an end, but our tree was so full of fruit this year, I feel that I have done nothing else but pitting, preserving and baking with cherries lately. Thank God for that cherry stoner, I don't know what I would do without it! (Amazon affiliate link)
These wine cherries are the last recipe for preserving them this summer. An easy, quick recipe, the longest part would be to pit them again. And the result? Incredibly aromatic fruit in a light and flavorful liquid, not overly sweet, slightly spicy and so delicious!
What do you need?
- Either sweet or sour cherries. I use sweet because that is what I have, but I would love to make some sour cherries in wine someday.
- Bing and Picota are some of the better-known varieties, but any sweet ones would be fine.
Sugar: White or light brown sugar, both are fine.
- Don't go and buy expensive wine, there is really no need for it in this recipe.
- You will add spices and sugar and you will cook the wine shortly, so buying an expensive bottle is really not necessary.
- I got a bottle of off-dry Burgundy that was on sale in our local shop. The regular price would have been about 5 Euros, I got it for 3 on offer. That is a really good price!
- Added at the end of the cooking process.
- I chose this liqueur because I still had plenty after making the Amaretto cherries.
- Kirsch or another brandy would be fine as well, I've used them many times.
- Cinnamon, vanilla and star anise. (Amazon affiliate link)
- Star anise has been my spice of choice in combination with cherries this year, I can't believe I've used it so rarely before.
- Alternatively, you can use ½ a tonka bean and leave the rest. It has an incredible flavor but it is not available in the US, for instance.
How to make?
- Pit the fruit, place it into clean jars, I had 4 jars of about 500 ml/ 17 fl.oz/ 2 cups capacity. The size of the jars is not important, use what you have.
- I decided to go with this size because I think it makes a good portion size (for 4 people). Fewer leftovers to store in the fridge, I suppose.
- Pour the wine in a pot, add the sugar and the spices.
- Bring it gently to a boil and let it boil for 3 minutes, the sugar should be completely dissolved.
- Add the Amaretto or brandy. If using vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean, add it now.
- Carefully, pour over the fruit in the jars.
- Seal the jars.
- Can in a water bath or in a canner for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
How to can the jars?
In water bath:
- Place a folded kitchen towel in a large pot.
- Arrange the jars in the pot making sure that they don't touch each other.
- Cover with hot water, bring to a boil, and boil gently for 25 minutes.
- Carefully remove from the water using a jar lifter. (Amazon affiliate link)
- Place on kitchen towels or a cutting board and let cool completely.
Canner: use according to its instructions.
How to store?
- The wine cherries keep well for at least 6 months and up to 1 year.
- Store them in a cool dark place like a cellar.
- Once you open a jar, keep it refrigerated.
How to use?
- I have to admit that we just spoon them out of the jar for a quick dessert sometimes, especially if I have them leftover from making something else. They are so tasty!
- You can make a cherry sauce. Thicken the liquid with corn starch, stir in the cherries and serve over ice cream, waffles, pancakes, or rice pudding.
- Use for cakes or cake fillings.
- And the liquid for moistening cake bases.
- Make a boozy trifle.
More preserved cherries:
Red Wine Cherries
- 4 jars of about 500 ml/ 17 fl.oz/ 2 cups capacity
- 1 kg/ 2.2 lbs cherries sweet or sour
- 500 ml/ 17 fl.oz/ 2 cups red wine
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ ½ cup granulated sugar or light brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick Note 1
- 1 star anise
- ½ vanilla stick Note 2
- 5 tablespoons/ ⅓ cup Amaretto Note 3
- Pit the cherries, place them into clean jars. Pour the wine in a saucepan, add the sugar and the spices.
- Bring it gently to a boil and let simmer for 3 minutes, the sugar should be completely dissolved. Add the Amaretto or brandy (and vanilla extract, if that is what you are using).
- Carefully, pour over the cherries in the jars. The cherries should be completely covered. The liquid should be enough, if it's not, top with more wine from the bottle (most bottles contain 750 ml/ 25 fl.oz wine anyway).
- Seal the jars. Can in a water bath or in a canner for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
Can in a water bath:
- Place a folded kitchen towel in a large pot. Arrange the jars in the pot making sure that they don't touch each other. Cover with hot water, bring to a boil, and boil gently for 25 minutes.
- Carefully remove from the water using a jar lifter. Place on kitchen towels or a cutting board and let cool completely.
- Canner: Use according to its instructions.
- Store the jars in a dark cool place. They will keep for at least 6 months and up to 1 year. Once you open a jar, keep it refrigerated.
- If available, you can spice the wine with ½ a small tonka bean instead of all the other spices.
- Or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract added together with the Amaretto.
- Use Kirsch or other brandy instead.