Can you hear me singing, “Life is like a bowl of cherries”? There’s nothing I love more than a perfectly ripe cherry when it’s sweet and firm so it bursts in my mouth when I bite into it. I could eat them every day of my life. But, alas, local cherry season is over before you know it. One way to save a bit of it for the darks days of winter is to pickle them.
- 40 ounces of cherries, stemmed and each poked a few times with a fork (NO PITTING = YAY!!!)
- Brine1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Bay leaves (one for each jar)
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon black pepper corns
- 2 cloves
- 20 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 12 ounces of sugar
- 24 ounces of apple cider vinegar
- Make brine by bringing ingredients to a gentle boil and stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Sterilize jars and cool slightly.
- Strain brine, reserving all the spices except the cloves. Divide remaining spices in each jar. Break up the cinnamon stick.
- Add cherries to jars. Put hot brine over cherries. If you don’t have enough brine top of jars with a little more vinegar.
- Place flat lids on each jar. Screw on bands to seal but don’t over tighten them.
- Arrange jars right side up in a canner and add water so it’s at least one inch above the jars. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for ten minutes.
- Cool jars on rack. Store in cool place for at least 3 weeks before eating.
Yield: 4 pints
The proportion of cherries to brine is 10 ounces of cherries in pint sized jar with 6 ounces of brine.