Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Brandied Cherries

Brandied Cherries

What would be the correct term to describe what happens in your kitchen when someone sends you 10 lbs. of sweet, ripe cherries?  Cherry-palooza, maybe?  My benefactors, in this case, are the fine folks at OXO and North West Cherry Growers and their gift came with a challenge.  Create one or more great cherry dishes that will be featured on their Facebook album for people to vote on.  Well, getting votes would be fun but getting to experiment in my kitchen with such a bounty was even more so!

Brandied Cherries
First we tasted.  Sweet, plump and perfect.  I love cherries so I don't even want to think how many of them, while I was pitting, were popped into my mouth.  Speaking of pitting, that daunting task was made so much easier because OXO included a couple of their wonderful cherry pitters.  Definitely one of my favorite new tools!  I decided to tackle a couple of recipes that were on my list to try even before I heard about the cherry challenge.  So today, tomorrow and Friday I will share my creations.  And if you're wondering if there will be pie...oh, yes...there will be pie.  Ridiculously good pie.  Deep dish crumb topped pie, as a matter of fact!

Brandied Cherries
But before we get to dessert, let's start with a cocktail.  Or rather, a cocktail garnish.  I admit that I love maraschino cherries but I also wanted an alternative to that sticky sweet, artificial taste.  Brandied cherries are still sweet but not cloyingly so and they're wonderfully aromatic.  Every time I opened the jar and got a whiff it made me think of some classic old, wood paneled bar.  The old Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel in New York, maybe.  Elegant, well dressed couples sitting around sipping refined cocktails and popping these fragrant beauties into their mouths.  OK, maybe that's just my imagination but I still highly recommend you brandy yourself some cherries and maybe you'll be transported to that same vision.  Enjoy!

Ingredients
2 Cups cherries, pitted
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup water
1/2 Cup brandy
1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of salt

Brandied Cherries
Combine the sugar and water in a pot and bring to a simmer on the stove until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Add the cinnamon and salt and stir to combine.  Add the brandy (off the heat for safety), stir in the cherries and turn off the heat.  Allow to cool before before transferring to a lidded jar and storing in the refrigerator.  The cherries will taste better after they've been marinating in the liquid for at least 24 hours and should last for at least a month in the fridge.




Check out all the folks participating in the 10 lb. Cherry Challenge:

13 comments:

  1. Your cherry voyage is like...my dream!

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  2. ooo yum!!! oo and I think maybe it's a "Cherrypalooza" haha

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  3. Cheers Anita! What a fabulous cocktail garnish. And I can't wait to see what else you share for "Cherrypalooza".

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  4. I'll gladly take any leftovers (assuming there are any?) :-) If not, will you make me a bourbon manhattan with some of these brandied cherries?

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  5. Yum!!! These sounds wonderful!!! So many ways we would use them!!!

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  6. Oh my goodness! How much fun to receive all those cherries...and what a great way to use them. Thank you for sharing Anita!

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  7. So many cherries! I am not sure what I would do. This treat sounds delicious. I can see pouring this on vanilla ice cream. Yum!

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  8. Cherrypalooza indeed!! Brandied cherries sound inviting and I wish I had made them. IIt was tough to stop eating them and hopefully one day soon my nailbeds will return to their natural color.

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  9. I suppose it would be wrong to just pour them into a glass and drink it right? Well, if it is I don't want to be right!

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  10. Gorgeous, Anita! I was just searching for a brandied cherries recipe a couple days ago...and most said they needed to rest 6 weeks. I'm so glad yours have a quicker turn around!!!

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  11. Anita, congratulations on getting the 10lbs of perfectly ripe, and beautiful cherries...along with s couple of their fab cherry pitters! Wow! that sounds great...but the best part is the Brandied Cherries recipe. Love brandied cherries, and I'm so thrilled that you share your recipe! xo

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  12. Mmmm this looks so much more delightful than those artificial neon pink maraschino cherries.

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  13. Great recipe and love the image of the oak-paneled bar that you evoke. (Also, great photos -- kudos for those!)

    Thought you might be interested in reading a bit more about how they're made on a (slightly) larger scale in France: http://www.qualifirst.com/en/blog/guinettes-brandied-cherries-perfection-jar

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