Thursday, August 6, 2009


I like maraschino cherries. I admit it. But the versions that are commonly available are clearly horrific chemistry experiments rather than good food.

So when we got a bunch of cherries recently, I thought I'd make my own. Unfortunately, it turns out that the original maraschino cherry -- which were made from a maraschino liqueur and special cherries -- bears little resemblance to the things that are sold on the US market. I found a recipe for those here, but it involves removing most of the coloring and flavoring and then replacing it.

That didn't sound appealing, so I just made up a recipe. Of course, while looking for images for this post, I found some recipes that seem to be almost exactly what I was looking for.

But here's what I did. I pitted a jarful of cherries and then cooked them briefly in a simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar -- I think mine ended up being about 1/2 c. of each). Not enough to make them lose their texture, but enough so that some of the juice came out. I sterilized my jar and stuck the cherries in there.

I filled that jar about half full with kirsch (maraschino liqueur would be more traditional, but I have kirsch on hand for fondue purposes). Then I cooked down the (now cherry-flavored) simple syrup until it was reduced to 1/4 c. or so. I added that to my cherry/kirsch mixture.

I let them sit in the refrigerator for a few days to let the flavors meld. They are great. I think the sugar/alcohol content means that they will last for a long time. Assuming I don't eat them...

(The picture is by Michael Naples -- great, isn't it?)

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