By Ann M. Evans
I have a Bing cherry tree, which produces enough for my family to have some fresh, some, canned, such as these pickled cherries, and some for the birds each June. I first encountered pickled cherries in France where they are eaten with charcuterie, or cured meats, before the meal as an appetizer, or as part of a cheese plate after the meal. This recipe takes about an hour after you’ve picked the cherries. You’ll need to let the cherries sit for about two months in your glass pantry prior to serving.
2 to 2 ½ pounds Bing Cherries, washed, stems cut to 1 inch. Remove any blemished cherries. 1 quart white vinegar (5 % acidity)
1 ½ cup sugar
7 allspice berries
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
Canning kettle, rack, canning jar lifts, 4-5 pint jars with lids and rings
Place the vinegar, sugar, cloves, allspice berries, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks in a non-reactive pan over a medium heat. Bring to a boil. Stir until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Fill the canning kettle with water and bring to a boil. Place the new lids in a saucepan on top of the stove with water to cover and put on simmer until you are ready to use.
In sterile pint jars, pack the cherries tightly. Pour the liquid over the cherries filling the jar up to about ½ inch of the rim of the jar. Wipe the rims with a paper towel. Place a hot lid on top of each jar rim, and put on the ring, tighten.
Place jars in rack in bowling water in canning kettle. Ensure that the jars are covered with at least one inch of water. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Remove jars with the canning jar lifts and place on a towel on the counter, with at least 3 inches air space in between each jar. Let cool 24 hours. Listen for the lids to go pop, which is a sign they have sealed. Alternatively, check the lids to make sure they are depressed.
Store in your dark, cool glass pantry for up to a year. Allow to sit for two months prior to use.
Makes 4-5 pints.