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Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 | 0 comments

Pickling a Summer Crop of Sour Cherries

Pickling a Summer Crop of Sour Cherries

My friend Stephanie surprised me with 5 pounds of sour cherries she and her husband picked in the Shenandoah, so I decided to pickle some of them for our summer food swap. I honestly didn’t even know it was possible to pickle cherries, but you can – I read that they’re delicious served alongside charcuterie, cheese, roast vegetables, or with pork, turkey, or venison. Of all the various methods and recipes online, I doubled this Russian Pickled Cherry recipe, which is adapted from The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich. You can make them with sweet cherries too.

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The recipe doubled:

  • 8 cups of cherries
  • 4 cups of raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 1/3 cup of water
  • 4 cardamon pods, crushed with a knife to open the pod
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 16 scrapes of a whole nutmeg with a grater
  • 4 whole allspice berries

I had been storing the cherries in the freezer, so I started by thawing them a bit. I had a choice of pitting the cherries or not and decided to leave them in, so the cherries would keep their shape.

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I measured out and rinsed 8 cups of cherries and then poured apple cider vinegar over them and covered the bowls with Saran wrap. I left them out on the counter over night.

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The next day, I strained the liquid into a pot and added the sugar and spices and the brought the liquid to a boil. My family was not thrilled with the overpowering smell of vinegar.

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After the liquid cooled down, I poured it back over the cherries, covered them with Saran wrap again, and let them sit for three days. Then, once again, I strained off the liquid into the pot, brought it to a boil and then let it cool. Meanwhile, I sterilized the jars (just the bottoms) for 10 minutes in boiling water. I washed the lids in soapy water. This is not a canning recipe because heating the cherries will damage them.

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I filled each jar with cherries about an inch from the top and the poured the room temperature liquid over the cherries until they were completely covered.

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You don’t have to refrigerate the pickled cherries due to the acidity of the vinegar. The recipe said to wait a month to serve them and that they can be stored for up to a year. After swapping a few jars, I still have more to use with Thanksgiving dinner this year.

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