AND Bourban Cherries!?

November 23, 2008

It’s not cherry season, fellas, but what if it were!? Imagine the improvement to our Manhattans, our Old Fashioneds, our Shirly Temples!!

So the deal is, BEFORE the grandeur of the prohibition people used to make authentic maraschino cherries just by soaking the pitted fruits in maraschino liqueur (something like Luxardo, today). My reading, however, suggests that this method will only keep the cherries good for up to two weeks in the fridge. I could be wrong, but for something with a little more longevity maybe one of the following is more appropriate.

Homemade Maraschino Cherries
For the brine
1/2 quart water
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp alum

For the cherries
1 lb sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup water
1 lb pitted cherries
1/2 Tbsp almond extract
1/2 Tbsp red food coloring

1. In a saucepan, mix the water, salt and alum and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and soak cherries overnight in this brine.

2. Drain the cherries the following day and rinse them in cold water. Pack in sterilized, sealable jars.

3. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, lemon juice and water. Bring to a boil and add the almond extract and red food coloring. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into the jars of cherries.

4. If you want your cherries to be shelf-stable, seal in a water bath (about 20 minutes for pints or 25 minutes for quarts). Or simply seal, chill and store in your refrigerator.”

“Bourbon Cherries
2 lb sweet cherries
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup bourbon

1 cinnamon stick (optional)

1-2 whole star anise (optional)

1. Wash and pit the cherries.
2. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, water, lemon juice and spices (if using).
3. Bring the mixture to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer. Add cherries and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Remove cherry mix from the heat, and stir in the brandy.

5. Pack the hot cherries and syrup into sterilized jars, leaving some headspace.

6. Cap the jars, and if you’re planning to can them, simmer for about 15 minutes in a bath of boiling water. If not, just cool and store the jars in the refrigerator.”

image and recipes via Miss Ginsu

I bet the bourban in that last recipe could be traded out for whatever liquor/liqueur our little hearts desired.


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