Saturday, June 9, 2012

Yummy Stuff

First pit the Cherries
Time to do some canning. On the menu for today is Whole Cherries in Balsamic Cracked Pepper Syrup. I can tell you, this stuff is delicious...and, it gave me a reason to buy a cherry pitter. Being the kitchen gadget junkie that I am, this was just a little added joy to my day. I adapted this recipe from one in Robin Mather's book, The Feast Nearby. She made it with strawberries. Her book has many really good recipes in it.
 Very easy recipe. You pit the cherries, Then layer them in 2 cups of the sugar. Cover and let sit over night. That draws the juice from the berries. The next day, drain the cherries over a pot and set them aside. To the juice in the pot, add the balsamic vinegar, the remainder of the sugar and the pepper corns. Bring to a boil and bring to a temperature of 220 degrees. Add the cherries and bring back up to the same temp. Turn off the heat and let set a few minutes. Prepare your jars and canner and process for 10 minutes.

The trick to successful canning is to keep everything spotlessly clean and process for the time specified: don't cut corners. Wipe the lips of the jars with a clean cloth before putting on the lids. The rings should be snug but don't over tighten. You'll hear the jars sealing after they are out of the canner, they make a popping sound. If you push down on the lid and they don't give, you know they sealed. The flavor of home canned food is so much nicer than store bought. It's easy....try it!

Whole Cherries in Balsamic~Black Pepper Syrup

 5 pounds of fresh cherries
5 cups of sugar
3 cups good quality balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black peppercorns

Pit cherries, spread half in a shallow pan and sprinkle with 1 cup of the sugar.  Add the remaining berries and sprinkle with another cup of sugar. Cover and let sit overnight at room temperature. The next day, transfer them to a colander set over a good sized pot. Let them drain. Set the colander with the berries over a bowl. Add the remaining 3 cups sugar, vinegar and peppercorns to pot with juice. Bring to a rolling boil stirring often till it reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes. Add the cherries and any remaining juice from the bowl and bring back up to 220 degrees. Remove from heat and let set a few minutes. Fill clean, hot jars and process in water bath canner for 10 minutes.
I used this to sauce center cut loin chops with fresh cooked spinach and summer squash and it was quite wonderful.....


  1. lots of sugar - can Mark eat this? We have a sour cherry tree that Ruth planted - it produces alot of cherries but I am at a loss of how to process them in a way I can eat. love Pat

  2. There is a fair amount of sugar in this but when you consider total volume and the small amount used as a sauce for meat, veg or salad, it is tolerable for Mark to eat even being a diabetic. Because the meal itself was very healthy; lean, center cut pork, fresh cooked spinach and fresh sauteed summer squash. The only fat used was olive oil. The sauce went really well with the veg as well as the meat which makes me think it will make a really yummy salad dressing with a little oil added especially on a fresh spinach salad.