(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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
- Combine first four ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce and simmer for 20 minutes without lid.
- 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.
You can swap out any spices you like for the Chinese five spice, like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, even chili pepper flakes.
Microformatting by hRecipe.
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