If we are what we eat, my stellar eating habits over the last two months would produce some sort of cherry-Sauza-Cool Ranch Doritos hybrid. But mostly cherries.
We took advantage of cherries being so plentiful and affordable this summer. Was it like that everywhere else? I swear that this was the first summer they virtually begged us to buy them.
With the end of cherry season approaching, I hoarded a few pounds for the freezer and then spotted a terrific idea in Food & Wine for the very last pound of cherries I had on hand: pickling in balsamic vinegar.
The balsamic vinegar takes on the sweet cherry flavor and made a tasty vinaigrette to drizzle over grilled pork tenderloin. And the sweet & sour cherries are perfect for snacking, eating in a salad, over toasted baguette slices topped with goat cheese (my favorite!), and piled on top of brined & grilled pork chops.
The original recipe (for Pickled Figs) noted that the figs would be good on the shelf for 6 months. Cherries are more delicate than the slightly under-ripe figs recommended and I wanted them to retain as much of their texture as possible. I was certain that they wouldn’t survive a 15-minute canning bath so I chose to skip the “official” canning procedures and stored them in the fridge instead.
Stretch out the cherry season with these balsamic pickled cherries.
- 4-5 1/2-pint canning jars with lids and rings
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/4 pounds cherries, stems and pits removed
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, water and balsamic vinegar until the sugar has dissolved.
- Bring to a boil and then add the cherries, simmering over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Spoon the cherries equally between the jars (I ended up with 4 full jars of cherries and a 5th jar that was just over half full of cherry-balsamic vinegar).
- Turn up the heat to high and cook the balsamic mixture for another 5 minutes.
- Ladle the syrup over the cherries, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top.
- Screw the lids and rings on top and try to wait a few days before opening the first jar.
- The cherries will keep a couple of months in the fridge.
- If you wish to store the cherries at room temperature, you'll need to follow appropriate canning procedures: sterilizing the jar components first and then boiling the closed jars for 15 minutes in a hot water bath.
Yields: 4-5 1/2 pint jars
Estimated time: 30 minutes
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Oooh – I have a new cherry pitter that I need to put to use. These sound super fun!! 🙂
I am so excited to make these. I always wanted try canning, and this recipe doesn’t sound to difficult. Thank for the recipe.
I would say I’ve mostly been cherries and corn this summer…but after this I may have to add balsamic vinegar to that list.
Ummmm yes. This is happening this weekend. Wow.
This intrigues me but scares me at the same time. The idea of it is something I would totally go for, but I tried out pickled grapes last summer and they were nearly inedible vinegar bombs. I know balsamic is a more gentle vinegar compared to some others, but how is the acidity level on these lovelies?
You are braver than I – I don’t think I can wrap my mind around pickled grapes 🙂 The acidity level is decently low, considering we’re talking about vinegar. They have a nice sweet & tangy bite but the balsamic mixture is *so* much sweeter than any other pickling recipe I’ve ever used.
How amazing would that be on some ice cream or greek yogurt!? looks awesome the way you paired it with the pork. 🙂
Oooh, I agree. They’ll be awesome with greek yogurt! I have yogurt on my shopping list and I’ll be sure to test it out this week 🙂
Looks gorgeous with that pork tenderloin! Fantastic clicks.