Cherries are in season here in South America, and while I’ve been enjoying eating them out of hand (and using them in place of strawberries in my strawberry bourbon lemonade), I wanted to get a little more creative. I’m a big fan of pickled fruit (like peaches), since I find the natural sweetness of fruit is well-complemented by the tartness of vinegar. This recipe caught my eye – although I’d never seen anything pickled with balsamic vinegar before, cherries and balsamic seemed like a perfect match. The result was everything I’d hoped for. An amazing blend of sweet and tart, these cherries are amazing on salads and sandwiches, and I think they’d also make a great addition to a cheese plate. The added benefit to this recipe is the cherry-infused balsamic vinegar – great for salad dressings or drizzling anywhere you’d use balsamic.
Balsamic Pickled Cherries (adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride)
Yield: 3 – 4 cups
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 lbs cherries, pitted and halved
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, and 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar, and stir together until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has come to a boil, about 5 – 10 minutes.
- Add 1 1/2 lbs cherries, pitted and halved and 1 tsp black peppercorns, and simmer until the cherries have softened slightly, about 5 – 10 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cherries to your jar(s).
- Raise the heat to high, and boil the balsamic mixture until it has reduced by about a third, about 5 minutes.
- Pour the syrup over the cherries, and seal the jars. Let cool, then transfer to the refrigerator. The cherries should stay good for about a month.