Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Balsamic cherries

A huge bag of cherries for 49 cents seemed a potentially unwise purchase, but I figured the worst case was they'd all go in the compost. About a quarter were mush, but plenty of them were fine. After eating all the perfect ones and tossing the mushy ones I still had 2 quarts of sweet, slightly overripe cherries left.

Pie came to mind, but a quick browse through the internet turned up and an intriguing recipe for balsamic-preserved cherries. I'm generally not much for vinegar-based preserves, but I do enjoy balsamic vinegar reduction, so this concept had potential. Also, Emily's photos looked very tasty. 

My fancy cherry pitter and a stockpot full of pitted cherries.

Unusually for me, I actually followed the recipe pretty closely. It didn't seem quite thick enough, so after the cherries had cooked for 20 minutes I strained out the fruit and set it aside, and reduced the liquid by about 1/3, then put the fruit back in. If I were doing it again, I think I'd reduce the liquid further, or maybe add a tiny little bit of pectin. If you want to bring me a giant bag of cherries, I'll try it and let you know. 

You can find the original recipe here:  

2 quarts of cherries gave me almost six half-pint jars of preserves.