I must confess, I get a very big kick out of an official moniker bestowed upon me each year, or at least for as long as the Washington State Fruit Commission sees fit to honor my love of preservation. I am a “Canbassador,” an emissary for preserving the flavor and beauty of the season one cherry, peach, apricot and plum at a time. (Hey, hold the snickers, and show a little respect, please.)
While I don’t have to wear a satin chest sash, top hat or tails, I prefer to wear my love of Washington state fruit on my sleeve. And that my friends, is second nature. For the most part, I receive a box of Washington state cherries, with a request, “Show us what you can do with these!” Well, the first order of business is to eat a two-pound bag in one sitting, the second is to pore over some vintage cookbooks for some worthy preserving recipes.
This year I wanted to share an easy-to-make-recipe, that’s old school pickling preservation with a new twist (or stem as the case may be) using fresh cherries for the pickling fruit.
The full recipe is coming up, but essentially you jar up some fresh cherries, pour a spicy little concoction of vinegar, sugar and water over the cherries, seal the tops, pop the jars into a water bath to simmer, remove and let rest for several weeks before eating to engage the flavors and complete the pickling process. And as sure as Bob’s your uncle, you’ll have some tasty tongue ticklers for your next soiree, meal or snack.
Check out the Washington State Fruit Commission’s SWEET PRESERVATION site for more recipes and tips for saving the flavors of summer. Cherries are here, peaches on deck!
Sweet Cherry Pickles
- 2lb sweet cherries (whole, stemmed, unpitted)
- 3 cups white or cider vinegar
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 3 teaspoons whole cloves
- 2 teaspoons whole allspice berries
- 6 sticks cinnamon
|Place all ingredients except cherries into a saucepan, and bring to low simmer. (Your kitchen will spell pretty dreamy at this point).
|Stir occasionally and simmer for 20 minutes, then remove from heat.
|Using gentle pressure, fill 5 pint jars with fresh whole, unpitted cherries and shake with hand as a cover to move the cherries further down in the jar.
|Pour heated solution over cherries using strainer and leave about half inch of air space in the jar. Add lid, seal and process in hot water bath for 15 minutes.
|Let them sit in the pantry for a couple weeks to reach full flavor, then refrigerate after opening.