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Making Maraschino Cherries


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#61 Mike S.

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 10:30 PM

Jacques Pepin has a method for preserving Bing cherries in alcohol in his new TV show (and book) "More Fast Food My Way".  The recipe for the cherries is on line, here is the link:    Jacques' Cherries Clickie

N.B.  I have not yet tried this, although I intend to.  But I have great faith in Jacques, everything else I've tried of his has turned out beautifully, so I've no doubt this would work as well.

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JP is the man, and I'm definitely going to try his recipe with the following adjustments: I plan to use Martinique cane syrup instead of corn syrup, and Luxardo Maraschino liqueur in place of the diluted GNS he calls for. So, I guess I'm really trying something vaguely inspired by his recipe....
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#62 MaxK

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 07:27 PM

This is the second year that I've made maraschino cherries. Last year I heated some Luxardo Maraschino just to boiling, turned off the heat, and added the cherries (sour cherries). I gently stirred the cherries and then bottled the results, keeping them in the fridge. The cherries were delicious.

After about a month the liqueur had taken on a beautiful red tinge. After 9 months or so the cherries had shrunk and darkened considerably, but were still tasty. At the one year mark the cherries were rather hard, but still decent with a slightly muted but still present cherry flavor.

This year I took the liqueur from last year, heated to boiling again, and poached a new batch. They won't be ready for at least another week or so, but I snuck one and it was pretty good!

#63 Darren72

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 06:13 AM

Just out of curiosity, why do you heat the liquor?

#64 mbanu

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 07:33 PM

Has anyone tried making creme de menthe cherries? I've got a jar steeping, but don't know quite what to expect.

On a related note, any ideas for cocktails using cherry-infused red creme de menthe? :)

#65 shantytownbrown

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 03:36 AM

Just out of curiosity, why do you heat the liquor?

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i have the same question..

also from a previous posting question i had made, it seems that poaching the cherries may make them loose some of their "crunch"/crispness if heated, and loose color, is this true?

i bought a jar of Trader Joes Morello cherries in hopes of replacing or combining its syrup with maraschino liquor, but i found the cherries to be quite soft if not mushy at baseline to be eventually used in a cocktail, they were also washed out of color.

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#66 MaxK

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 05:56 PM

I heat the liqueur because it somehow doesn't seem correct to me to preserve fruit without at least heating the surface. I wish I had a good scientific reason for it, but I don't!

As I only poach the cherries I have not found that they loose their crispness.I too have tried the Trader Joes Morello cherries, but they are indeed mushy when compared to the real thing.

#67 Chris Amirault

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 08:24 PM

I made a batch of brandied cherries following the NYT recipe linked above (didn't stem or pit, though) and while many turned out great, just as many had brown, hard, wrinkly spots. This was true for another batch with bourbon. Were those oxidation spots that went bad? Or what?

The best of the test batches was one made with applejack. They retained their color and texture almost completely and are delicious. The maraschino cherries were far more brown.
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#68 shantytownbrown

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 11:26 AM

I just batched my first attempt at homemade cherries...I had wanted to do more that one "type", however i misjudged how much liquid i needed for each jar, and measured out the whole 1.5c of Maraschino liquor into my simple syrup, and wound up with twice as much as i needed, so in the fridge i have "cooking" 2 Ball jars of JP's Cherries Clickie made with Luxardo Maraschino...

I took two steps at preservation, I borrowed from Alton Brown. One from his beer episode, where he cleaned all his equipment in a dilute bleach solution, another where he dipped his herbs in a similar bleach solution for 5 seconds prior to maxing herbed vinegar (rinsing in water prior to bottling). I did this with my clean jars and with the cherries...(i am a bit microbe paranoid, as i have never canned before)

also i used my own 1:1 simple syrup

and I couldn't find sour cherries around here, and used bings...will repeat when i find sour's and will make smaller jars with different liquors...

i will report back in a few weeks (how long for max enjoyment?)

shanty

#69 Pierogi

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:45 PM

After having found cherries (Bings) at the riddiculously low price of $0.99 per pound on Friday, I started a batch of JP's cherries in vodka today. Although I have about 1/2 a bottle of Maraska maraschino in the bar stash, I couldn't bring myself to use it for the cherries. The cheap-o vodka from Trader Joe's seemed much more fiscally responsible in these troubled times, especially since I'm not doing this little project for the eau de vie, but for the cherries.

They're relaxing in the fridge. JP says to wait at least a month before sampling....maybe if I stash them behind the Mike's Hard Lemonade I keep for when my best friends come over, I won't be tempted to break into them. Lord knows *I* never open one of those bottles.
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#70 Lordof7

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 06:52 AM

I originally read this topic a few years ago, and have finally gotten around to making some homemade preserved cherries. I used the red ones that arrived at the Supermarket a few months ago (can't remember the variety, but they were from the west coast.) I washed them in water, put them in a Ball jar with stems and seeds, and covered them with bourbon. They've been in the fridge since then. I have eaten a few, alone and in a Manhattan. While still very crisp, the don't taste much like cherries at all - just booze. I think next year I will add some sugar syrup (I may just add some this year.) I also find the bourbon taste to be a bit harsh, but that's cause I'm cheap, and used Evan Williams Black Lable instead of something better. Oh well. Still beats the neon red ones I suppose!

#71 shantytownbrown

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 09:49 AM

I originally read this topic a few years ago, and have finally gotten around to making some homemade preserved cherries.  I used the red ones that arrived at the Supermarket a few months ago (can't remember the variety, but they were from the west coast.)  I washed them in water, put them in a Ball jar with stems and seeds, and covered them with bourbon.  They've been in the fridge since then.  I have eaten a few, alone and in a Manhattan.  While still very crisp, the don't taste much like cherries at all - just booze.  I think next year I will add some sugar syrup (I may just add some this year.)  I also find the bourbon taste to be a bit harsh, but that's cause I'm cheap, and used Evan Williams Black Lable instead of something better.  Oh well.  Still beats the neon red ones I suppose!

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well, i just took mine out of the jar after sleeping them in the fridge for 6+ weeks, i used a mix of 1:1 simple and Luxardo Marschino, and the only available cherries (bings), and I would say that although crisp they as well taste much like booze, not so tasty...and the color all washed out...I would have to say not so appetizing(for me, maybe someone else would like them..) just not "cherry" enough for me, could be any fruit soaked in booze...

Maybe a better booze/simple ratio would work better? Maybe some aromatics? Cinnamon/clove etc? Maybe i'll try the poaching method.

I wanted to duplicate more the flavor and style of the Luxardo brand cherries, which are like gold in a jar....well worth the $17 a jar...

I need a different method than the Jacques Pepin one next time...

shanty

#72 janeer

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 01:20 PM

In response to two comments on this thread--that it's impossible to get the red color without a dye, and whether you can preserve without heating--I offer my recipe for pickled cherries, which I use in drinks. They are like maraschino cherries except that they have a little sour edge to them. Sour cherries, of course, are only available for a few weeks each summer. So gather while ye may.

My link
sour cherries pickled.jpg

Here is a pic of the finished product. Jane
www.littlecomptonmornings.blogspot.com

#73 Chris Hennes

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 09:22 PM

I'm sitting here with the dregs of a Manhattan that was garnished with a couple "Maraschino" cherries that I made according to Katie Loeb's recipe in Shake, Stir, Pour: though I admit to significant bias here, I believe these are the best Manhattan garnish there is. Mine have been aging in the fridge for over a year now, and while I won't swear to it, I do believe they are better now than they were this time last year. Is there anything new in the homemade maraschino cherry world?


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#74 Hassouni

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 01:02 PM

Just got a ton of cherries on sale - don't have a pitter - do I need one?

 

Also, will Luxardo maraschino work as the liquid, or is it not alcoholic enough to act as a preservative?



#75 bostonapothecary

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 01:49 PM

The 14th exercise in my Distiller's Workbook covers making maraschino cherries and also contrasts alcoholic versions with non-alcoholic versions. The exercise covers a lot of variables but you can really skip many of them if you want to keep it simple. The base spirit in the recipe is Hiram Walker Kirschwasser and not maraschino liqueur. also if you go the alcoholic route you don't want to pit because without sulfites and chloride bleach brines you will end up with unsightly enzymatic browning.


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#76 Hassouni

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 02:07 PM

I want to go the alcoholic route. Why kirsch over maraschino, the higher ABV? And sounds like no pitting for me then!



#77 bostonapothecary

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 02:35 PM

I want to go the alcoholic route. Why kirsch over maraschino, the higher ABV? And sounds like no pitting for me then!

maraschino liqueur is basically kirschwasser + sugar with a little extra almond aroma. the hiram walker product is definitely more affordable than luxardo maraschino and allows you to control your own sugar content so you fruit does not shrivel. luxardo maraschino probably has twice the sugar content you have a looking for. I'd love some feed back on my recipe because I don't think anybody has actually attempted it. its pretty elaborate but you can cut lots of corners if you want to.


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#78 Hassouni

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 02:55 PM

Is sugar necessary?



#79 Mjx

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 02:08 AM

The 14th exercise in my Distiller's Workbook covers making maraschino cherries and also contrasts alcoholic versions with non-alcoholic versions. The exercise covers a lot of variables but you can really skip many of them if you want to keep it simple. The base spirit in the recipe is Hiram Walker Kirschwasser and not maraschino liqueur. also if you go the alcoholic route you don't want to pit because without sulfites and chloride bleach brines you will end up with unsightly enzymatic browning.

 

Regarding the browning, wouldn't lowering the pH a bit prevent that, while adding a bit of welcome tartness?


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#80 bostonapothecary

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 09:55 AM

Is sugar necessary?

 

the liquid needs to match the sugar content of the cherries, too much and they will shrivel, too little and they will swell. narly maraschino cherries have sugar contents far higher than the cherries begin with and they walk it up in 30 g/L increments so everything can come to equilibrium with out damaging cells.

 

with my first experiments I just googled the known sugar content of the cherry type I was using instead of using a refractometer and it worked well. you will find that you don't have uniform ripeness and some cherries will float to the top and the exposed sides will brown. you can separate those into their own small jar with a little less sugar so they don't float, or you can slowly walk the sugar content up to try and make them absorb it and become uniform.

 

for a while I was using canning jars vacuumed with the canning jar attachment.


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#81 bostonapothecary

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 09:59 AM

Regarding the browning, wouldn't lowering the pH a bit prevent that, while adding a bit of welcome tartness?

 

I definitely don't know the science of the browning inside and out, I took all the information from the one credit course on maraschino cherry making at Oregon State University.

 

I think they lower the pH to limit any microbial growth and still have browning problems. their process is pretty darn involved and I suspect they have systematically tried everything.


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