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Brandied Cherries

Cherries are one of my absolute favorite fruits!  They are only around for a short time so I love to make the most of them while I can.  Whether it is cherry jam, cherry clafouti or just straight out of the package… I want ALL the cherries!  Unfortunately, cherry season is going to be gone soon.  But, here is another way to make them last all year long: Brandied Cherries!

I originally decided to make brandied cherries because my husband likes to drink Old Fashioneds.   A lot of drinks have been flowing around here since March and I couldn’t stand shelling out $25 for the store bought jar of cherries any longer.  So, when cherries came back in season I was on the case!

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This recipe is for a 1 pint mason jar of brandied cherries and is totally customizable.  You can easily half or double the recipe.  I flavored mine with orange peel and vanilla but you can leave it plain (as I did for the first batch) or use any flavoring you want.  I think clove or cinnamon would be amazing but husband was anti.   I left them out because honestly, he will use them more than I will.img_8373

As I said, we are mostly using these for Old Fashioneds but there really are so many options and not just as a cocktail garnish.  A quick Google search will provide plenty of ideas from milkshakes to crepes (and of course eating them straight from the jar).  How will you use your brandied cherries?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

Brandied Cherries

Yield: 1 Pint Mason Jar

Ingredients:
10-12 oz Cherries, pitted*
1/2 c Water
1/2 c Sugar
1 Vanilla Bean (optional)
Peel of Mandarin Orange or Peel of 1/2 a small Orange (optional)**
1/2 c Brandy

Fill a mason jar with the pitted cherries.
Meanwhile, in a small pot, bring the water, sugar, vanilla bean and orange peel to a low simmer.
Once the sugar has dissolved, let the mixture simmer for about 10-15 minutes so the flavors really combine and the simple syrup thickens.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the brandy; stir to combine.
Pour the liquid over the cherries and seal the jar, making sure to close the lid tightly.

Process the jar (submerge in boiling water) for 15 minutes, remove and let cool. Do not tighten the lid after you have processed the jar, just let it be. Cherries will last on the shelf almost indefinitely. Or, don’t process the jar; just let it cool and then place it in the fridge. Brandied cherries should last in the fridge for close to a year. Once you open the brandied cherries, store in the fridge.

*You don’t have to pit the cherries but the flavor will soak in faster if you do. Also, I find it much more pleasant to eat pitted cherries and, I think they are more versatile. If you want to use your brandied cherries in desserts you don’t want to have to pit them later.

**I use a vegetable peeler to remove the peel from the orange. Make sure you are only getting the peel and not any of the white pith underneath (which is bitter).

Brandied Cherries

Make those delicious cherries last all year long!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Processing Time15 mins
Course: Cocktails, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Beverages, Brandied Cherries, Cherries, Cocktails, Summer
Servings: 1 Pint Mason Jar
Author: Emily ~ Garlic & Olive Oil

Ingredients

  • 10-12 oz Cherries pitted*
  • 1/2 c Water
  • 1/2 c Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla Bean optional
  • Peel of Mandarin Orange or Peel of 1/2 a small Orange optional**
  • 1/2 c Brandy

Instructions

  • Fill a mason jar with the pitted cherries.
  • Meanwhile, in a small pot, bring the water, sugar, vanilla bean and orange peel to a low simmer. Once the sugar has dissolved, let the mixture simmer for about 10-15 minutes so the flavors really combine and the simple syrup thickens.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add the brandy; stir to combine.
  • Pour the liquid over the cherries and seal the jar, making sure to close the lid tightly.
  • Process the jar (submerge in boiling water) for 15 minutes, remove and let cool. Do not tighten the lid after you have processed the jar, just let it be. Cherries will last on the shelf almost indefinitely. Or, don't process the jar; just let it cool and then place it in the fridge. Brandied cherries should last in the fridge for close to a year. Once you open the brandied cherries, store in the fridge.

Notes

*You don't have to pit the cherries but the flavor will soak in faster if you do. Also, I find it much more pleasant to eat pitted cherries and, I think they are more versatile. If you want to use your brandied cherries in desserts you don't want to have to pit them later.
**I use a vegetable peeler to remove the peel from the orange. Make sure you are only getting the peel and not any of the white pith underneath (which is bitter).

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