“Cherries of the night are riper
Than the cherries pluckt at noon”
– From “Cherry-Time” by Robert Graves
Fresh cherries are one of the addictive pleasures of summer. Sweet and shiny with just enough meatiness to sink your teeth into, they are easy to devour by the bowl. Still, with the abundance of cherries on my counter, I can’t resist the urge to bake, pickle, and otherwise transform them into even more deliciousness.
Quick pickling allows you to take the freshest cherries and infuse them with spiced, briny flavor without the hassle of the canning process. They won’t keep the same way as preserved versions, so make sure to keep these cherries in the refrigerator until it’s time to enjoy them with picnic foods, cocktails, and cheeses. On a charcuterie board, think of them as the midpoint between pickled vegetables and sweet spreads that pair so well with cured meats.
1 pound of cherries, stemmed and pitted
1 cup water
¾ cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
Preparing cherries as recipe ingredients can be messy and time-consuming due to the pitting process. While a lot of specialized kitchen gadgets are more hype than they are worth, I definitely recommend investing in a cherry pitter, which pops the pit through the bottom of each fruit. In the end, your cherries will be in much better shape, which is especially important for recipes in which you are using them whole.
Begin by bringing all of the ingredients except the cherries to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes then remove from heat. When the brine is room temperature, pour it over the cherries in a glass jar. Cover and refrigerate once completely cooled. Wait at least 3 days to use, and though they will keep for a while in the refrigerator, keep in mind that they aren’t preserved in the same way accomplished by a full canning process.
Enjoy with tapas, antipasti, and all types of small plates and appetizers. Make these then stay tuned for a Mexican recipe using pickled cherries coming soon!