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Leena Cooks n Cans: Chinese five spice pickled cherries for Tigress Can Jam June

By on Jun 21, 2010 in Canning, Fruit, Leena Cooks | 16 comments

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Leena Cooks n Cans: Chinese five spice pickled cherries for Tigress Can Jam June

My pitted dark cherries, ready and waiting to be pickled!

Leena Cooks n Cans: Chinese five spice pickled cherries for Tigress Can Jam June

(note- this recipe was originally posted on July 28, 2009, but it is too good not repost for this month’s Tigress Can Jam: Berries. Photos and recipe the same, but content has changed. Enjoy!)

It is time once again for this month’s Tigress Can Jam, and the topic is berries. Since I am OBSESSED with my kick-ass five spice pickled cherries, and cherries have just come into season in California ($2 a pound, baby!), I figured this month’s can jam would be a great excuse to make my seasonal stock of pickled cherries.

These cherries are sweet and tart, tangy and addictive. They rock in both sweet and savory food applications, as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. And no joke? They will change your life. Even if you hate pickles.

More food porn, tips and the recipe after the jump

Leena Cooks n Cans: Chinese five spice pickled cherries for Tigress Can Jam June

Mah cherries.

I first experimented with this recipe two years ago, when I found it in my favorite canning book. I instantly tweaked the spices to  my liking (original recipe called for cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, and I swapped them out for Chinese five spice). It was purely an experiment, but a few months later, I had these explosive-tasting nubbins of cherries, subtly spiced and so instantly addicting, I immediately regretted not canning more when cherries were in season.

Leena Cooks n Cans: Chinese five spice pickled cherries for Tigress Can Jam June

The pitted cherries tightly packed in the jars. Try to pack them in as tight as possible without squishing them, as they will soften during canning and shrink.

Flash forward two years, and these pickled cherries are by far my favorite and most popular recipe. Friends and family regularly ask for these, they are incredibly versatile as an ingredient, and I recently taught a canning class how to make them.

Leena Cooks n Cans: Chinese five spice pickled cherries for Tigress Can Jam June

Pouring the hot pickling syrup over the cherries before canning.

When it comes to eating them, they are great cold out of the jar, but I also enjoy them with a nice chevre goat cheese on a buttery cracker. The acid in the cherry cuts through the rich goat cheese, while the cherry itself remains plump and sweet, a nice contrast to the savory cheese.

Leena Cooks n Cans: Chinese five spice pickled cherries for Tigress Can Jam June

The finished jars of pickled cherries.

They are great over a bowl of vanilla gelato, or as a center piece in your favorite pineapple upside down cake, where they take on a super sour flavor against the sugary-sweet cake topping.

Leena Cooks n Cans: Chinese five spice pickled cherries for Tigress Can Jam June

My pickled cherry-topped mini pineapple upside down cake.

They pair nicely with most meats, especially venison and duck. I love serving them on a cracker with a thin slice of smoked duck breast. I also think they go well in steamed chard salad, tossed with an apple cider-honey vinaigrette.

Leena Cooks n Cans: Chinese five spice pickled cherries for Tigress Can Jam June

My pickled cherries topped with thinly sliced smoked duck breast on a cracker. Salty and sweet and sour!

The leftover pickling syrup makes killer Manhattens and vinaigrettes. You know. If you don’t end up eating them all out of the jar first.

Recipe: Leena’s Chinese Five Spice Pickled Cherries

Summary: Adapted from The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Satch Preserving by Ellie Topp & Margaret Howard

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cup white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 ½ tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 lbs dark sweet cherries, pitted and left whole or halved, or unpitted, your choice

Instructions

  1. Combine first four ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce and simmer for 20 minutes without lid.
  2. Take out hot, sanitized jars and pack w/ cherries. Pour hot pickling syrup over cherries, leaving ½ inch of head space at the top of the jar. Place lid on and process jars for 15 minutes for half pints & pints.

Quick Notes

Yields 6 half pint jars

Variations

You can swap out any spices you like for the Chinese five spice, like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, even chili pepper flakes.

Microformatting by hRecipe.

~LTG!

*****************

Previous Can Jams

January: Citrus–Blood Orange Port Marmalade

February: Carrots– Gajar ki Chutney with Caramelized Shallots

March: Alliums– Onion Apple Ale Relish

April: Herbs– Strawberry Rhubarb Rosemary Jam

May: Rhubarb– Spiced Rhubarb Jam

Leena Cooks n Cans: Chinese five spice pickled cherries for Tigress Can Jam June

16 Comments

  1. Leena

    22 Jun ’10

    Post a Reply

    Thanks, Christina! It was the first recipe I ever made that was new to me, and I was so pleased with the results. You may get addicted!

  2. Shae

    23 Jun ’10

    Post a Reply

    Decided: This is what will happen to the next batch of cherries I make. Thanks for the beautiful recipe.

  3. Julia

    24 Jun ’10

    Post a Reply

    How can I not make these? You make them sound so good! Even if I don't get cherries for $2 a pound. Jealous!

  4. Leena

    24 Jun ’10

    Post a Reply

    Hi Julia! Let me know how they turn out. And hate me more–I found cherries for 99 cents last week.

  5. Julia

    27 Jun ’10

    Post a Reply

    Wow. I won't hate you, but well…I just paid $2.50 a pound and felt okay about it. But now?

  6. Gloria Nicol

    30 Jun ’10

    Post a Reply

    Well I followed your recipe and canned 5 jars. Two didn't seal properly (those Italian jars seem a bit unreliable!) so I opened 1 prematurely and started to eat. Flippin' wow. I love these cherries and I've gone from never using cherries to becoming obsessed. Now have a basket full of small sour cherries waiting for the same treatment. Think I've got a long night ahead pitting them all.

  7. Gloria Nicol

    30 Jun ’10

    Post a Reply

    Well I followed your recipe and canned 5 jars. Two didn't seal properly (those Italian jars seem a bit unreliable!) so I opened 1 prematurely and started to eat. Flippin' wow. I love these cherries and I've gone from never using cherries to becoming obsessed. Now have a basket full of small sour cherries waiting for the same treatment. Think I've got a long night ahead pitting them all.

  8. Adrienne

    27 Aug ’10

    Post a Reply

    I made these about a month ago and finally opened a jar. I don't know why I waited so long. These are AWESOME! I love them! I brought the jar to work, and shared them (then I wished I hadn't).

    Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!

  9. Leena

    31 Aug ’10

    Post a Reply

    Hey Adrienne~Thanks for reporting back on the recipe. Glad you liked it. You would think the main ingredient was crack, with how addictive they are, huh? What is your favorite use for them?

  10. Gini

    7 Nov ’10

    Post a Reply

    Hey Leena! I’ve got a batch of these processing right now and am excited to experiment with them. My only question is, how long should I let them be for the best flavor, in your opinion? Thanks. :)

    • Leena

      8 Nov ’10

      Hi Gini!

      Get excited. These cherries WILL rock your world. Once you properly can them, I would let them sit a minimum of two months before diving in. Technically, you could eat them after one and they’d still be good, but they won’t pack much of a punch in terms of flavor. Any clue how you will be using these? Thanks for stopping by!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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