A friend of mine generously left me a bag of cherries the other day, and while I would have happily just eaten them, I was pretty keen to try something new with them! Considering we have loads of bananas that need using (banana bread), as well as carrots (cake), I decided to stay away from some form of cake that includes cherries, delicious as it might be! I settled upon a recipe for spiced, pickled cherries that I found in Jared Ingersolls book, Dank St Depot. He suggests using these served with ham, which with christmas coming up, is a really different and tasty accompaniment. They would be even more amazing with duck! Try these if you have a glut of cherries or youre keen for something different! Its such an easy recipe, requires NO time at all (you dont even have to stone the cherries!), and makes a fantastic christmas gift, if youre not going to use them all yourself!
1kg cherries (stones, stems and all!)
750ml red wine vinegar
500g soft brown sugar
6 juniper berries
4 all spice berries
1 star anise
Zest of a lemon, cut into strips, as well as the juice
1 stick of cinnamon
2 green cardamon pods
1) Sort through the cherries and take out any less than perfect ones, give them a quick wash and set aside.
2) Put all the other ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for 5mins.
3) Add the cherries and boil for another 5mins, then take it off the heat, and leave it to cool, covered, overnight.
4) Put them into sterilised jars and store them in a cool, dark place, and they will keep for months!