The summer always brings out my “canning and preserving” gene. I got this gene from both sides of my family and I’m so glad I did. The summer bounty offers up countless pickling opportunities. Pickled Bing Cherries are one of the best. These are superb with a charcuterie platter, paté or a cheese platter. They’re great with a pork roast, venison, the Thanksgiving turkey or the Christmas goose. It doesn’t matter what you choose to serve these beauties with. They’re a real treat.
Pickling is a process and the good news? You can pickle pretty much anything and it’s pretty simple. My sister makes the most amazing pickled cantaloupe…they’re Nirvana! But that’s another story…here’s how this works—
First, cut the stems on the cherries and using a cherry pitter, remove the pits. Set the cherries aside.
Get out a good heavy saucepan. Add everything but the fruit to the saucepan and bring it to the boil. Boil for 2 minutes, remove the pan from the heat, cover and let stand for 30 minutes. We cover the mixture and let it stand, because we want all the flavor in the brine, not in the kitchen. Now, bring it back to the boil and add the cherries. Simmer them until tender, roughly 4-5 minutes.
I use a slotted spoon to remove the cherries. And I dump them into the jar. Bring the brine back to the boil. Pour the hot brine over the cherries in the jar. Wipe the rim of the jar and cap off with lids and a rim. Let the jar set and cool to room temperature. That’s all there is to it. I put the jar in the fridge, where I let them set for a few days. They’re better when they set for a few days, and they will keep for several months. If you want to keep the cherries longer, put the jar in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
Pickled Bing Cherries
- 1 pound Bing cherries, stems on and pitted
- 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar (use up to 3/4 cup, if the cherries are sweet)
- 2 2-inch strips orange zest
- 8-10 whole black peppercorns
- 6 whole cloves
- 6 whole allspice berries
- 1 small star anise
- 1 stick cinnamon (2 inches long), snapped in half or thirds
Get a heavy saucepan out. Add the red wine vinegar, water, sugar, kosher salt, orange zest and whole spices to the saucepan. Bring to the boil; boil for 2 minutes. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Add the cherries; simmer in the seasoned liquid until tender, roughly 4-5 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the cherries and place in the jar. Return the bring to the boil; pour over the cherries in the jar. Wipe the lid and cap off. Let cool to room temperature; place in the fridge. These are best if left for several days. Will keep for several months. Can be canned in a hot water bath for 10 minutes for longer, room temperature storage.
NOTE: By all means enjoy the cherries in as many ways as possible, but DO NOT pitch out the brine. It is a wonderful base for vinaigrettes and to add some additional flavor to pork and beef roasts.
Pickled Bing Cherries Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2017. All rights reserved.
Now, if you can manage it, let the cherries rest for at least a week for them to be at their best, but they’ll be wonderful for some time. Enjoy them with a grilled cheese sandwich…there will be no turning back.