Preserving spiced cherries in this way is a wonderful way to extend the too short cherry season.
Makes 1 Kg
Preparation 5 minutes, plus resting and preserving time
Cooking 10 minutes
1 kg firm, best-quality cherries with stems and stones
1½ cups (375 ml) balsamic or white wine vinegar
500 g white or soft brown sugar
1 piece cinnamon quill
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1½ teaspoons cloves
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon salt
1. Pack the fruit into clean glass jars (or one large one).
2. Place the remaining ingredients and 1½ cups (375 ml) water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 5 minutes. Pour over the cherries and leave for 3 days.
3. Strain the liquid from the cherries and boil it for about 3 minutes. Pour it over the cherries again, then seal the jars and wait for at least a month before opening. Serve with terrines, charcuterie or pork.
Lyndey’s Note: To sterilise jars, wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water, then place in a low (120°C) oven for 30 minutes. Alternatively, put the jars and lids in a large saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove with clean tongs and place in a low oven or drain upside-down on a clean tea towel. Do not dry them with a tea towel. The jars must be completely dry before they are ready to use.
Try this recipe for Crisp Pork Belly and use the Spiced Cherries when blood oranges are out of season.
Recipe from Just Add Spice by Lyndey Milan and Ian Hemphill (Lantern)
Photography Chris Chen