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LindyCat

Making Maraschino Cherries

91 posts in this topic

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.

great link, in the video he mentions using "the highest vodka you can find", I assume he means "highest proof", as the print recipe says you can use grain alchohol (in connecticut we can get graves 190)...

do you use the high proof for preservation purposes?

light corn syrup...without starting another discussion on syrups and sugars, is light corn sryup the better sugar for this, as a few of you mentioned above that sugar may be the key to keep the fruit from blanching out...?

i have read in one recipe to add some aromatics (star anise, cinnamon) the they simple syrup mixture...anyone tried this?

when is sour cherry season, i am only seeing bings right now, they arent that sweet, but i wouldnt quite call them sour either...

shanty

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i have read in one recipe to add some aromatics (star anise, cinnamon) the they simple syrup mixture...anyone tried this?

when is sour cherry season, i am only seeing bings right now, they arent that sweet, but i wouldnt quite call them sour either...

shanty

Yes, I've been adding aromatic spices (see my post above). The spices give a nice subtle flavor.

In Chicago, the sour cherries come around the same time as the bing/sweeter cherries. The farmer's market vendors don't always call them "sour". My batch of preserved cherries from 2008 is dated July 11, so they should be coming here pretty soon.

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do any of you heat the cherries in the syrup before jar'ing...?

i read this method in a chow.com recipe for homemade cherries...

should you rinse the cherries in a dilute vinegar to kill any potential "badness" that may be lurking? ( i read of doing this to herbs before flavoring oils with them)

and can someone refer me to a good canning saftey link/book/source, so i donrt poison myself or friends in making these babies...

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do any of you heat the cherries in the syrup before jar'ing...?

i read this method in a chow.com recipe for homemade cherries...

should you rinse the cherries in a dilute vinegar to kill any potential "badness" that may be lurking? ( i read of doing this to herbs before flavoring oils with them)

and can someone refer me to a good canning saftey link/book/source, so i donrt poison myself or friends in making these babies...

The book I use for canning advice is the Putting Food By, 4th ed., by Janet Greene, Ruth Hertzberg and Beatrice Vaughan. I'm sure others can suggest websites.

I've never bothered doing anything but rinsing the cherries, but I always put them in booze (not just syrup), which has its own antiseptic properties. I've also never processed the jars; I just keep them in the fridge or cupboard, and the high proof of the alcohol is enough to keep them shelf stable. If you're doing them purely in syrup and/or planning to water-process them, the rules change.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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do any of you heat the cherries in the syrup before jar'ing...?

i read this method in a chow.com recipe for homemade cherries...

should you rinse the cherries in a dilute vinegar to kill any potential "badness" that may be lurking? ( i read of doing this to herbs before flavoring oils with them)

and can someone refer me to a good canning saftey link/book/source, so i donrt poison myself or friends in making these babies...

You don't want to heat the cherries (if you are packing them in alcohol). I also don't do anything other than rinse them in water.

For general preservation information, I turn to the following:

http://www.amazon.com/Ball-Complete-Book-H...45785306&sr=8-2]Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Ball Blue Book of Preserving, which is a short version of the Complete Book.

Joy of Pickling (Note that this is a new edition and doesn't have many reviews on Amazon as a result.) This book focuses on pickling, not preserving in sugar or alcohol.

I like the Time Life series "The Good Cook" book called "Preserving". These are coming up on 30 years old, but have great recipes and general information on techniques, safety, etc. You can usually find these on Ebay ranging from $1 to $20, depending on the particular volume.

Finally, the USDA has a nice website on home food preservation: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp. My understanding is that they are somewhat conservative in their advice and methods, but that's not a bad thing.


Edited by Darren72 (log)

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You don't want to heat the cherries (if you are packing them in alcohol). I also don't do anything other than rinse them in water.

thanks for the book/webstie advice all..

just to answer my curiosity..why not heat if going in alchohol...my cooking science mind wants to know..

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just to answer my curiosity..why not heat if going in alchohol...my cooking science mind wants to know..

Well, I should be more clear. You can heat it or process the mixture in a water bath, but that makes a really different product.

When you heat the cherries, you change their texture a lot. You might end up with something that tastes great, but I don't think it would be the type of thing you'd want to use in a cocktail. Plus, if you pack the cherries in alcohol and then heat everything, I suspect you'd burn off the alcohol and lose its preservative properties.

(Because the cherries aren't processed in a water bath, I keep my cherries in alcohol in the fridge, not the pantry.)

If you heat the cherries, either before or after packing into jars, I think you'd get something closer to jam - or something that might be great on ice cream - because the texture of the fruit would begin to break down.

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(Because the cherries aren't processed in a water bath, I keep my cherries in alcohol in the fridge, not the pantry.)

i am looking to make a few different versions(brandy, maraschino, bourbon), or at least a few different jars in one batch, so i can use fresh cherries and use them through the year, how can i assure shelf stability until next summer's batch...while maitaing the cherry "crispness" we all so love for our cocktails

i guess i have some canning literature to read...

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Yeah, I understand the quandary. For the past couple of years, my wife and I would lay out about 8 Mason jars, fill each with cherries, and then fill with various liquors and spices (some whiskey, some eau de vie, some without spices, some with cinnamon and cloves, etc). Then we take up the better part of a shelf in the fridge with all of the jars. Honestly, we don't notice any significant deterioration in crispiness or texture of the cherries, even after a year. As I said above, the flavor isn't as bright as it was.

The main modifications we'll make this year are (a) to try some with sugar in the mix, and (b) not make quite as much. We end up with enough uneaten cherries that we've decided to cut back and reclaim some of our fridge space. All this is to say, I think you could make a few jars, store them in the fridge, and not worry about options for storing them in the pantry.

*Breaking news: I just received the weekly email from the Chicago Green City Market. It says that cherries will be available at this market this week.

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Yeah, I understand the quandary. For the past couple of years, my wife and I would lay out about 8 Mason jars, fill each with cherries, and then fill with various liquors and spices (some whiskey, some eau de vie, some without spices, some with cinnamon and cloves, etc). Then we take up the better part of a shelf in the fridge with all of the jars. Honestly, we don't notice any significant deterioration in crispiness or texture of the cherries, even after a year. As I said above, the flavor isn't as bright as it was.

The main modifications we'll make this year are (a) to try some with sugar in the mix, and (b) not make quite as much. We end up with enough uneaten cherries that we've decided to cut back and reclaim some of our fridge space. All this is to say, I think you could make a few jars, store them in the fridge, and not worry about options for storing them in the pantry.

*Breaking news: I just received the weekly email from the Chicago Green City Market. It says that cherries will be available at this market this week.

a. i think my wife would be happy if i made only two jars as it is..(though i'd love to try the eight you did!!) so yeah, we can spare fridge space..

b. will you ship to connecticut? ;)

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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.

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....


Cheers,

Mike

"The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind."

- Bogart

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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!

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

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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? :)

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

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.

shanty

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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.

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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.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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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

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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.


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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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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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!

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

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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

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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?


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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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?

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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.


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

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